Last week, I was hosting nine young Muslim leaders from Europe in Chinatown/International District.
However, these strangers ended up educating me instead. It was their first time in America. Boy, did I make some bad decisions.
I took these young leaders to a dim sum restaurant. No pork, they said. Muslims don’t eat pork for religious reasons. However, 90 percent of dim sum is filled with pork!
The waitress brought them ice water. No ice, they protested. One said that it doesn’t make sense to drink cold water during winter. I agreed.
So what did they want to drink? Seven of them ordered Cokes, and two ordered Pepsis. They have acquired some American tastes.
“Don’t put ice in the Coke, though,” my guest reminded the waitress.
What should we order?
“Shrimp,” they said. “We eat seafood.”
“We can have chicken,” a couple of them stated.
Luckily, the restaurant provided other dishes and not just dim sum.
Some of their favorites were veggie egg rolls, veggie fried rice, salt and pepper tofu, boiled pea pod vine with soup, Chinese broccoli with garlic, three kinds of mushrooms with cheong fun (wide noodles), shrimp cheong fun, mushrooms with tofu, seafood noodles Hong-Kong style, and shrimp and chicken fried rice.
They cleaned up all the plates except for the last entrée.
Guess who ended up eating it? Me. The lesson I learned was not to order any meat for my new Muslim friends. And they loved the fortune cookies. ♦