“Would you like anything else with that?”
“Yeah, two Tsing Taos please.”
“Sorry, no Tsing Tao now.”
“Okkkk. Fair enough, two Sapporos it is then.”
“No Tsing Tao, and no Sapporo after one.”
This is the third time in three attempts during our late-night Chinese excursions that I have been flatly refused the simple request of a two am Tsing Tao. I’m not an unreasonable man: I have come to Boston, I have compromised, and now the city needs to meet me halfway and serve a little beer with my MSG.
“Fine, no beer. Just the hot and sour soup and General Gao’s, and whatever he ordered,” I say, pointing at my friend Venkat, the Lewis to my culinary Clark. The waiter nods and effortlessly glides toward the kitchen.
“Oh, I almost forgot!” I shout after him. He returns to our table, devoid of all interest.
“Do you guys happen to have any Tsing Taos…” He’s returned to the kitchen before I finish the sentence. I shouldn’t have ordered such naturally phlegm-concealing dishes. Venkat leaves for the bathroom, so I whip out my phone and hit the ‘Book, hard.
Every last one of you is simultaneously listening to Spotify? Wait, your dashboard thermometer says 103 while driving in the South during the Summer, sweet pic! You were tagged as a pair of shoes? Really, you “like” Walmart? Oh, but you also like nice things… That bears directly on the quality of your character. A boat? Solid. Bad-ass car? Do you know how FEW people can afford those??? Skylines, cocktails, rooftop pool parties! You all must be doing something really right.
I search for the Hong Kong Restaurant page, and find this: “This place does NOT serve Tsing Tao… and my fortune cookie said I have cancer.” I can’t stay mad at the ‘Book for long. At heart, we are one and the same.
Has spent an inordinately large amount of time in school. He now lives in Boston/New York.