The One With The Song & Dance That Was Lunch

Kaya Toast Nasi Lemak

One has many reasons to take an early lunch. Mine was to escape the maddening crowd which besiege all (and I do mean all) eateries around my workplace. So why in the God’s name your outlet was brimmed to the entrance, every counter has a queue rivaling the Great Wall of China? I know you should be happy that business was brisk but God damn it I expected an empty place so that I can order my fried chickens in peace.

And then there was the Overly Efficient Cashier. You know who I meant; the (invariably foreign) behind-the-counter staff who can blast you a greeting, rant off ten specials-of-the-day, take your order and try to upsell your drink for two more bucks all in one breathe under ten seconds. Hold on, miss, you are not in the World Championship for OECs. Your colleague next to you was having a hard time preparing the food order as fast as you were taking them. The amount of sweat dripping from her eyebrows might have clued you in.

What is it about seating plan designs in Hong Kong food outlets? It seems that all these “designers” (if you could call them that) graduated from the same design school which taught the same three design principles; (1) make all pieces of furniture as small as humanly possible, (2) squeeze as many pieces of furniture as possible onto the available floor space, and (3) repeat for your next outlet.

To the group of gawky teenagers staring at me while I was having my well-deserved lunch: it is Not Cool to stare at someone who is eating. Staring at me would not make me eat any faster. If anything, it made me deliberately ignore you and studiously read my book, while flashing you Evil Stare Grade 9 every other minute. If you are that hungry you are welcome to lick my chicken bones but please do so from the comfort zone of your sidewalk.

A word about the photo. The “Singaporean Nasi Lemak” was pretty nice, though the sambal was oddly sweet.

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