Yesterday, I met my husband at the Korean restaurant that we frequent because the food is delicious and the location is midway between his office and our home. When we walked in we were greeted like Norm from Cheers which gives us the false sense of importance that we enjoy so much. They sat us at one of “our” tables and practically brought us our iced teas before we ordered them. We ordered our typical fare—Eel Bibbity Bobbety Boo Bowl for me (I can never remember the real name) and the BBQ Ribs Bento Box for my husband. The food was superb as usual but something was missing. Something…atmospheric, but what? The normal lunch hour chatter was humming, Korean techno music was thumping in the background and the smells of yummy goodness being grilled was all there, so what was missing? And then it hit me—we had a different waitress and she was—really good.
Our usual waitress, to my husband’s great amusement, kind of annoys me. She is an overly bubbly, talkative person that thinks she has a personal relationship with us. She also thinks it’s part of her job to entertain us while we are sitting in her section. She tells jokes and laughs at her own banter while we politely sit there smiling and nodding because we can only understand every fifth word. Our lack of comprehension isn’t solely because of her very heavy Korean accent and the speed with which she speaks, but because she flip flops from speaking broken English to speaking broken Spanish. As someone that took remedial French in school over 20 years ago, this definitely presents a very big communication barrier.
But yesterday, (dare I say it) I was missing our happy, chirpy, quasi-bilingual waitress. How strange. I guess we all find comfort in things that we can count on staying the same. The same childhood stories being told over and over again when we’re home for the holidays, the perfect cup of coffee made just the way you like it from your local barista, and now, the Korean waitress that for whatever reason has taken a shine to us and is doing all she can to make our experience pleasant and memorable.
I guess this is a sign that it’s time to dust off that Rosetta Stone Spanish language course that my husband gave me several Christmases ago and finally give it a whirl. Maybe I can become her token Cajun Customer that Speaks Little Spanish. Bon appetit! I mean, Buen provecho!