Right now I’m quite literally dashing to dine. It’s evening meal break at work and I’ve been running around from shop to shop outside the mall I work at. Everywhere I go a ‘CLOSED’ sign is standing guard between me and a much needed meal. Time is starting to run out.
After ducking in and out of restaurant windows and playing charades with the owners (lip reading ‘ARE YOU CLOSED?’ – ‘YES WE ARE CLOSED’) I finally come across a place that doesn’t make me perform the tireless ritual.
I peer through the window of the door half-expecting to begin the tireless dance. Just as I begin preparing to give my best ‘ARE YOU CLOSED’ charades impression, I lean on the door and realize that it’s…open. THANK GOD.
I crack open the door and begin to make my way to the cash register. Asian pop music rings through the empty room. Save for the tunes, it’s so still it feels like I’m at church. Or a circus. Polka-dot red and white sofas line the room. The black walls are highlighted with neon orange and green. I’m just waiting for the clowns to start coming in. I’m not used to this look, but I suppose it has its own kind of charm.
“I suppose hanging out in this place could help me get in touch with my Oriental side. After all, I suppose we’re all really just different shades of yellowish-brown.”
I look at the menu. While this is a very stereotypically Bubble Tea-looking place, they also serve a pretty wide variety of entrees. I’m feeling the Crepes at the moment. I place an order for the Tuna & Corn Crepe. I’ve never had both of these foods surrounded by a very thin French Pancake. I’m in.
I twiddle my thumbs while sitting at a table alone. I feel awkward. I’m not used to these kinds of places. The colours are so bright. The atmosphere so… Asian. Hong Kong/Taiwan style. I suppose these are the occasions where I can truly realize how much of a *Banana I am.
Even though my parents identify themselves culturally as Filipino, I suppose hanging out in this place could help me get in touch with my Oriental side. After all, I suppose we’re all really just different shades of yellowish-brown.
The Crepe arrives and I hungrily wolf it down. Savoury Tuna complements the sweet corn. The warm but slightly crunchy Crepe complements the two. The presentation is simple but elegant. It can probably be best described as the most upscale Tuna Fish Sandwich I’ve ever had. Simple, but awesome in its own right.
Content from the food, but still feeling pretty out of place in this joint, I lean back in my seat and begin to relax a little.
After a while it happens. A feeling that I can’t quite describe, but it’s there. Fleeting, but still noticeable. That feeling that you get when you start feeling comfortable in what was an otherwise alien environment.
At home. But just for a second.
It’s good feel a little more like an ‘authentic’ Asian, even if it’s just for a moment.
*To my international readers: Banana is Lower Mainland slang for an Asian with primarily Caucasian mannerisms – yellow on the outside, white on the inside.