Mar 1, 2005

Quetta and the Quesadillas

Our location is right in the middle of town and surrounded by several of the large hotels in Kuala Lumpur and as such we get an interesting mix of customers from all walks of life coming through every night. For the last two nights I have had the same group of gentlemen from Quetta, Pakistan come in and order the same thing. "A bowl of that chile meat thing and that bread sandwich with chicken inside" Needless to say, our poor waiter was dumbfounded. Noticing the confusion, I stepped over and helped with the translation. "One bowl of Chile Con Carne and a Grilled Chicken Quesadilla".

While waiting for their order, the Pakistanis asked me sit down and join them while they waited for their order. While offering me a Marlboro and asking me where I was from one gentlemen said. "This sandwich chicken is very good, we like very much this. "

Interestingly enough my reply of Houston, Texas always seems to evoke the same response from foreign visitors here. "Ah Texas, Houston Bush" "Do you like Bush?". This is the point when many other Americans who travel overseas stop and think what the proper reply should be. It's as if they think that offering some sort of "politically correct" response will make them liked or that there somehow is a more palatable response to the question. Something they fail to realize is that they are always condensending. There are many people in the world who do not live in countries such as ours and they are raised from birth being subjected to a constant propaganda from fragile forms of government led by paranoid and suspicious leaders that a common enemy exists. This enemy is America.

Go ahead and ask people why America is so hated and the responses are not only predictable but comical. "Because America is unfair to Palestinians" or "Because America hates Muslim people." Ask them why they are so concerned with what is going on in the Middle East instead of helping to develop their own backward country or why so many Americans in the United States are free to practice Islam and you will be hardpressed to get a response.

For the moment we can agree on one thing though. A bowl of that chile meat thing and that bread sandwich with chicken inside is damn good eating.

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