10 November 2007

Who orders steak at a cafe?

Cyndi and I tried to eat at the new pho restaurant in our neighborhood, but it was closed by the time we got there. As we were leaving the building, we spotted a cafe/restaurant in the basement. We were intrigued by the cute hand drawn signs and the rustic decor of the entranceway.

The interior was quite homey, with cozy couches and shelves overflowing with books.

Note to self, never let decor let determine your source for dinner.

The Minto house tea tasted like barley at first sip, but left my mouth with an icky aftertaste. I think that this was due to the "minto" part of tea. Whatever it is, I did not like it. Isn't it pretty hard to mess up tea?

Against my better judgment, I ordered the steak. (Who orders steak at a cafe?)
I was filled with a sense of foreboding as I waited for my steak. Or, maybe that feeling of "foreboding" was actually just queasiness caused by all that "minto."

We were surprised when this drink was presented as the "appetizer." Maybe I need to watch more Top Chef, but as far as I know, appetizers do not typically come in a drinking glass. If they do, there's usually some shrimp involved. Sadly, that's not even wine that Cyndi's drinking. It's grape juice.

Before I could even ask, "Where's the beef?" they brought out the entree. The quickness of the service was a little disconcerting. I've waited longer for a hamburger at Arby's. I don't even know if the steak was real beef. I'm pretty sure that the chicken had seen the inside of the microwave at some point in its preparation.

Needless to say, the entree was probably one of the worst dishes I've had in Korea.

The only plus side to the dinner was that I came across an awesome book called American Slang, which according to Dr. Robert Burchfield, editor of the Oxford English Dictionary, the book is "American slang an its rip-roaring, zany, zappy best."

After a quick look through the book, I decided to "borrow" the book for the greater good of the Korean patrons of Minto Communitast. Before you judge my "borrowing" of the book, please take a look at a few examples from "American Slang":

cracker n late 1700s A Southern rustic or poor white
nigger 1 n fr early 1800s A black person 2 modifier: a nice nigger lady
nigger rich adj phr Having much money, esp. suddenly; I'm either nigger rich or stone poor.

The definitions are rather misleading. Can you just imagine a beginning English learner asking an American, "Oh, you're from the South. Were your ancestors crackers?"

I'm not going to even think about the damage an ESL student can unintentionally wreak with the n-word. Plus, the book refers to The City as "Frisco." This is why I've decided to hold on to this book for the remainder of my stay in Korea.

Plus, it will make a good bathroom read.

We're going to Busan this weekend for Heng's wedding, so I won't be posting for a few days. In the mean time, can you figure out the definition of the following terms? I will reveal the definitions when I return.

  • sweet man (or papa)
  • sweat hog
  • Feeb or Feebie
  • jiggery-pokery
  • double bagger

BONUS: Can you guess in what year this book was published?

1 comment:

Felix said...

wow, my parents have that exact book. i remember reading it back in georgia. some of the stuff is pure comedy.