This was originally going to be a food review, but well, it got hijacked by a loud ABC (American born Chinese). I haven’t been to Southern Barbarian for several years. It was popular among my circle of friends during the Swiss James era, but then people moved on and I never went back. But for reasons I won’t go in to, I am going to be living next door for the next month so I decided to pay a visit.
I ordered all my usual favourites – potato pancake, spicy and sour chicken, BBQ beef on toothpicks and waited for the food to arrive. Unfortunately there was a very loud American Chinese girl about 4 tables away and all I could here was here annoying voice the entire time. She was with a European male companion and every now and then there would be complete silence which I eventually figured out was the rare time he was speaking (at normal volume).
Before my goat’s cheese and Yunnan ham arrived, I learned more about this girl than I know about most of my friends. She went to Princeton, not as well known in China as Harvard, her mother wasn’t a tiger mom – apparently, when the book came out, she sent her mum an email saying “thank you mum for not being like this”. I also learned a lot about the US education system and how the top schools encourage studies of the liberal arts rather than more practical subjects that you can actually use in real life.
I suppose I’m being unfair mocking her discussion topics – there’s nothing wrong with them per se, it’s just the ridiculous volume as if she wanted everyone not just her dinner companion, to know her life story. Luckily, they left not long after our food arrived and I enjoyed the rest of the meal in peace, although there were several other tables still dining.
They say Chinese are loud, but on this evidence, they have some stiff competition from across the Pacific Ocean.