t happened mid-morning and I was still thinking about it throughout the day. ChowKing, this Chinese fast food restaurant that incorporates Filipino delights like the all-time favourite sweet icy halo-halo, had a new drink on the huge plastic menu posted high up on the wall in front of me. It was called naicha, which I didn’t find at the branch at Ambassador Mall at Jakarta, but there it was smiling and waving at me from the menu board at the outlet on the corner of Edsa.
“Good afternoon,” I greeted the cashier whose eye shadow glimmered green. “I would like two orders of tofu to go please. What is naicha?”
She points to the photo on the menu board.
“What’s in it?” I asked.
She walks over to menu board and, under it, points to the naicha to make her point.
I glared at her and asked again, “What’s in it?”
“It’s tea, Ma’am,” she replied stoically.
Ah, finally! A spark of intelligence! Still, she didn’t completely answer my question.
“Forget the naicha. Just give me pineapple juice.”
Is a language problem? Or did she step on her common sense? Whatever it is, it’s a huge problem – seriously!