Monday, August 28, 2006
Come and get it
August is birthday month in my family. My birthday, as well as that of my twin brother and mother, all fall within this month. This is usually commemorated with a low-key celebration of some description. This year we decided to visit Belhannah Lebanese restaurant in Ivanhoe. Part of the experience in eating cuisine from the non-English speaking world is ordering difficult to pronounce dishes from the menu. It is common in Asian restaurants to get around this problem by numbering each menu item. Hence, all that is required to order is to recite the number rather than the name of the dish. In a somewhat misguided attempt to demonstrate how cosmopolitan and acculturated I am (not very, as it turns out), I asked for each menu item I wished to order by name. This backfired on me when the waitress corrected my pronunciation of the dishes, which somehow sounded more Italian than Lebanese. Other members of my family more sensibly chose to point out to the waitress the menu items they wanted, saying to her, "Can I have this, please?" Solomon once wrote (pardon the paraphrase) that pride comes before a fall (Proverbs 11:2). How right he was. Little did I know that truth would be affirmed in a suburban restaurant on a Saturday night.