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Mad Scientess Jane Expat

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Happy Crimbleness! [20111225|10:00]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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The bloke & I always open up our stocking presents when we first wake up in the morning. These are little cheap things for the most part - chocolates, brazil nuts (for him), dried mango (for me), tinned fish (for him), etc - that allow us to give one another large quantities of delicious things without spending a fortune.

This year, he went to the big East Asian food shop on Mill Road in Cambridge to get me some of my stocking presents (water chestnuts and bamboo shoots!). He also got me fish sauce. But he couldn't get the one he wanted because of the following encounter.

Bloke toddles up to counter with laden basket. Elderly Chinese Lady (ECL) who is clearly the driving force behind the shop gives him assessing stare, whips item out of basket.

ECL: "Do you know what this is?"
Bloke: "Er, gourami fish sauce?"
ECL: "What you making with it? Do you know what this is?"
Bloke: "Um, a Christmas present?"
ECL: *shakes head* "Much too strong. You take this back."

Bloke goes to the back of the shop and is shouted at until he selects a milder fish sauce that ECL deems suitable.

ECL: "You give this."
Thoroughly Cowed Bloke: "Yes ma'am."

While the bloke was busy being deemed too white for strong fish sauce, I was attempting to buy booze. The woman behind the counter at the supermarket gave me an assessing stare and demanded my ID.

I gawped at her for a second, wondering how she had managed to miss the grey hairs whose population daily increases. Once I'd realised she was serious, I started fishing through my wallet. As I fumbled around for my California driving licence, which has seen very little use since I first arrived in the UK except as a curio to be shown round at parties, the woman behind me leaned forward.

"Excuse me," she said, "but if you're asking for ID, I'm going to have to go outside and get mine from the car."

The cashier looked at her. "No, you're fine."

This young lady was at least five years younger than I am. She had a very hip asymmetric blonde bob and a fresh, makeup-free face with clear skin. She gasped. "I'm offended! No, just kidding."

But she really, really wasn't. I handed over my ID, which the cashier spent ages inspecing because she couldn't find my birthdate. Then she read it out for everyone's enjoyment. The blonde woman's fury was almost palpable. If eyes could flay, I would have been skinless.

I'm grateful to have escaped intact and now to be sitting in the kitchen drinking coffee and shamelessly neglecting my sous-chef duties while the bloke bustles around chopping veg. And with that, I should probably go and help him before he pulls my Santa hat down around my ears.

[User Picture]From: soliano
2011-12-25 11:35 (UTC)
And Merry Christmas to you and the Bloke!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2011-12-26 19:58 (UTC)
Thank you! Merry Boxing Day!
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[User Picture]From: cosmiccircus
2011-12-25 19:53 (UTC)
Too funny!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2011-12-26 20:01 (UTC)
Yeah, the blonde lady was really not amused. I think she would have happily eviscerated both the cashier and me!
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[User Picture]From: sneakypeteiii
2011-12-26 03:49 (UTC)
Reminds me of that time I tried to order Thai jungle curry from Palms. They said it was too strong and refused to honor my request. Yet, they said nothing about the most tongue-searing laht nah ever forged from the fires of Mount Doom.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2011-12-26 20:03 (UTC)
Oooh, Asian-on-Asian discrimination, followed by mouth torture. NOT GOOD.
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[User Picture]From: alice_mccoy
2011-12-26 21:14 (UTC)
I love ECL. :)
Blonde didnt realise that ECL just wanted to confirm you were actually Miss MK.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2011-12-30 17:23 (UTC)
The bloke is insisting that if the MK thing happens again, I milk it for all it's worth.

It will be interesting to see the circumstances under which it occurs.
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[User Picture]From: bellelaqueen
2011-12-29 10:11 (UTC)
Once, when I was in a greek restaurant the owner decided I wouldn't like what I'd ordered and announced his decision as he brought me a lamb dish instead, saying I "need some meat".

I was not allowed to argue, the other dish was innapropriate apparently for my visible dietary needs. I'd completely forgotten about that until reading your entry!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2011-12-30 17:25 (UTC)
Yikes! I think I'd be afraid to refuse. Especially if it were a large, insistent Greek man.
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[User Picture]From: bellelaqueen
2012-01-02 12:22 (UTC)
He was large but cheery and weirdly reminded me of my grandma so I ate it. It was the best lamb I'd ever tried.
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