Some Things Never Change
March 21, 2012
Some Things Never Change
Donna and I just returned from a road trip to Kingman, Arizona where we visited the Skywalk and the Grand Canyon Caverns.
When I was a young sailor and travelling the world courtesy of the US Navy, our ship stopped in Hong Kong. Several of us went ashore seeking some good food. For those of you who spent time in the Navy some 50 years ago know what I am talking about. The food could get pretty bad after a couple of months at sea. Anyway back to the story.
Several of us, I think seven, went looking for a steak house. We hopped a ferry and crossed the Hong Kong Harbor to Kowloon, mainland China. Sure enough we found a steak house; the way we knew it was a steak house is they had a picture on their sign of a big juicy steak with two baked red tomatoes and one boiled, peeled potato. Inside we were given menus with the name of the steak house and menu items in both Chinese and English. We had come to the right place, 1001 steaks were on the menu. The menu was a book of steaks. That’s right, they had Chinese steak, English steak, Brazilian steak, California steak, New York streak, I mean they had a streak for every major country, state and city in the world. What a selection.
We each selected a different steak. I selected an Oklahoma steak being from Oklahoma, someone else selected California being from California, others selected Brazilian, French, Russian, African, Chinese and Mongolian just too see what they tasted like. Oh, did I mention that the picture on the cover of the menu was the same as the picture on the sign. When we tried to ask the waiter about the different steaks and how they were cooked and seasoned, he just looked at us with a blank stare and seemed to make some mmm -good sound. Finally we just pointed at the number beside the menu item we wanted. Remember, the book or menu contained 1001 different steaks, each numbered and priced.
It didn’t take very long for our Kowloon waiter to bring us our steaks. To our surprise, they were all the same, Oklahoma, California, Brazilian, French, Russian, African, Chinese and Mongolian. I mean, exactly the same. Every steak, looked just like the picture on the sign and the cover of the menu, two baked red tomatoes and one boiled, peeled potato. When we again tried to question the waiter he just made that same mmm-good sound and pointed to the picture. We laughed, what else you going to do?
So what does this have to do with our trip to Kingman, Arizona? Well, Donna and I wanted some good food after a long day of travel. I plugged in “Fine Dining Kingman, Arizona” into Google. The response was “You must be kidding, there is no fine dining in Kingman, Arizona.” We had to laugh. Another comment was “but Panda Express made the newspaper when they came to town.” With no help from the Internet, we decided to just drive the streets. Donna loves Mexican food and as it turned out right across the street from where we were staying was a small local Mexican restaurant.
We went in and were given menus. Our favorite choice is cheese enchiladas, rice and bean, but no where on the menu could we find cheese enchiladas, but they had chicken enchiladas. Each menu item was numbered, does that sound familiar? I scanned the menu again, no cheese enchiladas anywhere, not even as an a la Carte item. I said to Donna, I don’t see cheese enchiladas anywhere. We should asked. She then looked at the Mexican waiter whom had just walked up to take our order. “Do you have cheese enchiladas,” she asked? He shook his head up and down, implying “yes,” but we notice that he did have one of those blank looks on his face. Okay, Donna said, I will take item #13, with two cheese enchiladas. Menu item #13 was for two chicken enchiladas, rice and beans. He then looked at me. I said, I will have one cheese enchilada with rice and beans. He again nodded his head up and down as if he new exactly what we had ordered.
It wasn’t long when our Mexican waiter brought us our orders. Donna got two chicken enchiladas, rice and beans. I got one chicken enchilada, rice and beans. I immediately remembered my experience in Kowloon. You get what’s on the menu or at least the picture. I had a good laugh in Kowloon and Donna and I had a good laugh in Kingman, Arizona.
We had a lot of fun on our road trip, we had wind, up to 50 miles per hour, we had rain, we had hail, we had sleet and we had snow. In fact, we got snowed in while in Kingman and had to spend another night.
Carlos and Donna
Have you ordered your personal copies of the Molly Songs? If not be sure to check them out on iTunes.
Photo of McGee by Carlos Royal http://www.cafepress.com/mollytheowl.628020845
2012 Calendar www.cafepress.com/mollytheowl
Austin’s Designs (Your purchases help him pay for his schooling)