OF COURSE THE CHINESE WOULDN'T NOTICE
To explain: I had roast bird and rice at one of the local eateries recently, and as is common in many restaurants that cater to a predominantly Cantonese clientele, the bits of bird had been placed hot on top of a bed of lettuce, so that the heat and hot grease would wilt and flavour the green stuf. Cantonese people are very fond of lettuce as a fresh vegetable that only needs a minor amount of heat to be totally delicious.
Lettuce reduces considerably when cooked.
Most Caucasians don't eat that.
They cannot recognize it.
So it ain't edible.
As anyone who has ever read Beatrix Potter understands, lettuce contains sesquiterpene lactones which act as a mild narcotic. Which means that you can get drowsy after eating. For some reason cooking strenghtens this, but the bunny rabbits in the tale simply ate too much, and fell asleep.
Wisely, one of them covers his head with a paper bag.
In this city that is always a good idea.
Chinese people are quite unable to sense this effect. Primarily because the waitress will plonk a nice big pot of hot tea in front of them, and by the end of the meal they'll be high as a kite. Totally whacked to the gills. Buzzing.
Whereas white people just get one cup. They're likely to eschew the tea and ask for ice water anyhow, as well as either soda or a beer.
['ngo seui-yiu yat go hou daai-ge wu yit chaa, m-koi']
I look very white. Not bleach and blinding glare white, thank goodness, but it is obvious that the minute amount of "other" genetic stock (East Coast native American) was several generations ago, leaving naught behind but high cheek bones and a certain vibrant foxiness. There are also deep-set grey eyes, which though not a universal Caucasian characteristic by any means, are a completely white thing by most definitions.
I only got a cup of tea.
One single cup.
The key sentence I really must remember to say clearly when dining alone in Chinese restaurants, ESPECIALLY if I intend to have roast bird and rice, is 我需要一個好大嘅壺茶，唔該！
Cantonese pronunciation: 'ngo seui-yiu yat go hou daai-ge wu chaa, m-koi'.
I require a very big pot of tea, please.
Gotta get zipped.
I should probably say something similar in a Mandarin environment, but such places are so seldom part of my ambit that I won't bother saying it in any other language than English.
I felt very tired after dinner.
And went to bed early.
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