I went to dinner with Mela today, and we were at this Japanese restaurant in Chinatown. We sat down sort of next to these two guys, but they were the eat eat eat eat leave type, so Mela and I could have a relatively low-voiced conversation and hear each other.
But then these two girls sat down beside us after the guys left, and for some reason they felt the need to loudly describe exactly what they want in their bento, and what they don’t want. Then they proceeded to go through the menu of bentos, saying which ones are closest to what they want, but not quite, and pondering if the waiter could change it for them.
And then when the waiter tried to explain that he couldn’t change it, they sort of did the guilt-trip “oh-oh” kind of thing. In the end they conceded anyway.
And, finally, and here’s the clincher; the waiter first brought their bento to their table, then went back into the kitchen to bring them their miso soup. As the waiter was about to set down the miso soup, one of the girls started praying rapidly. And I’m not meaning like “Dear God, thank you for this food which we are about to enjoy…”, I mean she, I don’t know, in one breathe I think she thanked every person in the Bible for the teriyaki chicken, sushi, and rice. I couldn’t hear what she was saying, but she was saying them.
And the poor waiter just sort of hovered above them with one miso in each hand, unsure whether to set them down and interrupt their prayer, or just stand there waiting for them to finish what seemed to be a marathon session.
And Mela and I just sat there, trying so hard not to laugh.
I mean, I’m all for saying grace before you eat, and if you’re so in tune with God that you feel comfortable praying like that in public, I don’t know, most people just say something short. It was just so ridiculously long and rapid.