Yesterday C took me out for a new dining experience: Yum Cha, which is essentially Chinese for tapas-style eating. We’re digging into our pork and prawn delicacies, and I’m enjoying the very hot red dipping sauce. So much so that my mouth is now on fire, and all I have to soothe the heat is hot green tea. I ask C to ask the waitress for some water when she shows up.
In the meantime, my mouth is still burning away when said waitress finally materializes. C orders another dish but seems to not remember my water, so I say to the waitress (who is a Chinese immigrant, of course), “May I have some water?”
She looks at me quizzically as if I’m speaking Greek to her instead of English. “Wahhhh–terrr,” I repeat in my Southern American accent. Still, nothing. “A glass of wahhh–terrr,” I repeat to no avail. Jesus H.
Finally seeing that the waitress is not going to get what I’m saying, C pipes up and says, “Wau–tah, she’d like some wau–tah,” in his proper Aussie accent. The waitress’ eyes light up. It finally clicks. Water.
Guess they don’t speak Southern in Australian Chinatown. Geez.