These days I’m more often recognized for my eating habits as I am for being the local English teacher. It’s been going on for a few weeks to the point where I’m seriously starting to wonder if I should make some changes.
Accosted at Costa
The young, welcoming staff of the Costa Coffee across the square from my workplace used to greet me with a bright, ‘hallo!’ Lately that cheery ‘hallo!’ has become, ‘medium hot chocolate and raspberry sponge cake?’
My ‘usual’ order is verbally tossed across the café towards me whilst I’m still on the threshold, informing all present of my preference for the cocoa bean over the coffee bean and my penchant for light sponge-cake with a gooey berry in the centre.
Luxurious Food for Sophisticated People
My favourite supermarket for expensive Western-ish food has an appealing cake counter which I resisted for at least six months before succumbing to the inevitable and, sure enough, it’s proved to be my downfall. The kindly customer service assistants can now clock me from ten feet away. Eager to please, they shout, ‘apple pie!’ while smiling at me (and only me) like we’re old friends.
Sometimes I don’t even want any, as wonderful as it is, but unless I skulk past trying hard to be invisible, they assume that as I’m in the vicinity…..
Sizzling Sichuan Fish
After only two visits, my not so local restaurant doesn’t even offer me a menu anymore. The waitress gestures as a table while casually calling out my order towards an open kitchen hatch, where I assume the Chef is already frying or chopping or sizzling something. ‘Golden Sichuan fish in sweet and sour sauce with greens and boiled rice!’ Unsurprisingly she gets it right every time.
Am I so predictable? How did this happen? Should I be worried? Will it get worse with age?
I’d find new places to patronize but why bother? I like my familiar haunts which offer me my own Ground Hog Day.
If you look it at another way, China is developing at a crazy pace with changes being the order of the day across swathes of the country. Maybe this foreigner can give a teeny tiny bit of consistency, even if it is only in my food choices.