Yet Another Miraculous Coincidence (With Noodles)
I mentioned Noodle Gourmet-- the hole-in-the-wall Hong Kong style noodle joint on Easton Avenue in New Brunswick that I often frequent for lunch with my father, brother, and children-- to a Taiwanese acquaintance, and she gave it high marks, and said that I should order the den dien dong shing and I said, "What?" and she said, "the dong ding dienty den den shin" and after several repetitions of this farcical dialogue (my friend Connell tried the reverse approach-- he told her, "Describe me to the people that work there, so that when I go in, they'll know to give it to me") she finally wrote the name of the dish in Chinese on a scrap of paper, which I put in my wallet . . . and the next day, I met my father and brother for lunch there, and my brother was ahead of me in line and he pulled out a little scrap of paper with some Chinese characters on it-- he wanted to order mini-rice cakes with seafood and that dish is not on the English menu, so he got a Chinese co-worker to write down the order, and after he presented his little piece of paper, and then I stepped forward and presented mine, which was for a noodle dish slathered in minced pork and hot peppers-- totally delicious-- and while this may not rank among the most profound miraculous coincidences in my life-- it was pretty funny, and both dishes were astonishingly delicious . . . and Noodle Gourmet could avoid such silliness if they simply translated all these secret dishes in English.