Saturday, September 17, 2011

Our Beijing Pizza Hut Experience

Waiting on our food and our poor waiter in the background. :)
Our Seafood appetizer to accompany the Milk Tea

Tapioca pearls in the Milk Tea
Our Personal Pan Pizza for the family.
Our fruit juices that were OH so sweet!
I know we are already in Shanghai on this journey to our daughter, but I just have to share a funny experience we had in Beijing. One would think that going into a Pizza Hut and ordering a pizza and coke would be a simple experience, right??? Well, I wish there had been a video rolling of our Pizza Hut experience in Beijing. It is proof that even the most simple things become almost impossible with a language barrier!!!

We decided on our last day in Beijing to grab a pizza. So, Pizza Hut, it was!! We went in and sat down. The menu was all in Chinese, but they had pictures. And, pictures are a foreigner's best friend! We were limited to the options with pictures---and, we knew there was no way we could ask for something different. So, we found a picture that looked like something we might enjoy and went with it! Then, we pointed to Coke, and the waiter shook his head. "Kuhla out", he said. I then saw that they had the famous "Tapioca Milk Tea", so I pointed to that picture. The waiter shook his head again and pointed to his watch and held up 2 fingers. They didn't serve the milk tea until 2, and it was 20 'til. So, we scanned the various fruit juices for Plan C, and picked. Now. . . that was not "so" hard. The pizza came out, and it was just slightly larger than a personal pan pizza. I believe I may have laughed out loud. A personal pan pizza for a family of 3!!! :) Ah, what the heck! We made it work. . . and it was delicious!

Since we had fairly good luck with the pizza, and we were still a bit hungry, I got bold and decided to go for dessert and order that milk tea (since the 20 minutes had passed! ;). That was when the real fun began. The dessert was not problem. Point and order, plain and simple. But, when I pointed to the milk tea, the waiter hesitated and started speaking Chinese and flipping through the menu. He began pointing at various food items, and I pointed back to the picture of the tea and said that was all I wanted. He flipped back and spoke more Chinese. Geoff decided to help me out and pulled out his Iphone with his new Jibbigo App on it (that translates Chinese to English and vice versa and is voice sensitive). He held it up for the waiter to speak into and a look of shock and fear colored the waiter's face. He refused to speak into the phone. Geoff then began trying to explain that it was a translator. Then another waiter walked up to help out and see what the confusion was. Geoff was still trying to explain for them to speak into the phone, I was telling them just to forget the tea and get the dessert, and our poor waiter still looked like Geoff had asked him to disrobe and tap dance. It was at this moment that a wave of hysteria overtook me and I began to laugh and couldn't stop. Those poor guys probably thought I was laughing "at" them. I wasn't. I was just laughing at the insanity of the situation---one that should be so simple. It turned out, after a long game of charades, that you had to order an appetizer along with the milk tea. There were specific appetizer choices that accompanied it, but of course it was all in Chinese. So, I just pointed to different pictures until I landed on one that he shook his head "yes" to.
We finally got our order in and the food came out. It was good, but I'm not sure worth all the effort. Haha!!! The whole scene reminded me of something from Seinfeld. And, I'm still curious what the waiter thought Geoff was asking him to do with the phone! Ha!

And, so there you have it. . . the White's Pizza Hut Adventure in Beijing!!!


The Strings said...

I loved the Ribbion Dancing video you posted! Looks like AG is having fun! What a blessed experience you and your family are having!!

Sharon said...

We went to Pizza Hut in Beijing. The staff were all dressed like pirates. Odd. LOL