August 11, 2009

Point-N-Eat Meals

It is not point-n-shoot cameras, but point-n-eat dining. I think it is kinda ugly for canteens in an international campus hosting a huge portion of foreign students and researchers. The worst cases are Beijing outlet in the Terrace, Si Chuan and Claypot outlets in the Deck.

While many foreign students are taking basic Chinese courses to adapt in new environment, why can't Estate and Development Office mandates culpulsory basic English courses for canteen workers ? Those poor canteen operators don't even know their food items' names in English nor say the price in English properly. In one instance, the operator asked me like $5.25 but, when I gave a $5 and $2 notes, she gave me $4.50 back.

Many exchange students (many of them are caucasians) came here for at most two semesters, yet they are going to basic Chinese courses. Those canteen workers work here forever, dealing with many Vietnameses, Burmeses, French, English and you-name-the-race students. Taking two-three hours of their time every week won't harm so much, I think.

I really didn't know the name of meal I took today. I just pointed the plate, which is for the one before me. Remember the term "point-n-eat dining". It contains some vegetables, pork legs and rice. 

Enjoying the meal, I wondered why many Si Chuan (Szechuan) food are similar to that of Shan food. Modified Dan Dan Noodle, for example, contains peanuts, sesame, pickled vegetables, cooked meat and, most notably, fried chili (oil). It is closely resemble to the hybrid of Shan noodle and Mee Shay (not Law Shay's Mee, its name is really Mee Shay).

I wikied for an answer and found out that a lot of Tai resides in southern Si Chuan (I also noted that there are Li Su tribe in that province). In fact, Tai are ethnic superset of those Siam (in Thailand), Shan (in Myanmar), Assam (in India), Isan (in Lao) and many tribes in southern China. An interesting fact is that many Tai ethnics resides in Hainan, too. Since Hainan is famous for their Chicken Rice, I suspect many Tai involved in the Chicken-rice (almost like Singapore's national food) behind the curtain.

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Guess Count

Since August 1st, 2009, Law Shay had enjoyed his lunch together with friends.