Several times a week, I walk across the street to Uwajimaya, which is rumored to be largest Asian market on this side of the Mississippi (although I’m not sure what Asian population can support such a market on the other side of it). Walking into Uwajimaya is like warping to the other side of the globe, reminiscent of gliding through the scenes of Disney’s “It’s a Small World” ride. It’s too cute for culture shock.
One part of Uwajimaya is a supermarket, complete with brands and foods that I can never pronounce and rarely recognize. The other part is a glorified food court. Picture that Chinese restaurant at the mall multiplied by ten. The food is good and quite authentic from what I can tell (thus my frequent visits), but I often question the authenticity of the people serving it.
Yes, most of the workers are of Asian ethnicity, and that’s not a requirement, but sometimes the accents just seem a little TOO good. Do you know what I mean? Maybe you’ve experienced this at a ethnic restaurant yourself. A little alarm goes off in my head every once in a while that sounds: Fake.
I could never prove this in court, but I think I found a key piece of evidence to build my case.
Today, I’m at the Korean restaurant ready to order. I’m greeted at the counter by a clearly Hispanic woman, whose eyeliner is extended a notable half-inch beyond her eyes, giving her a near-Asian look. Fine. This must be the fashion of the day to which I'm oblivious (although I've never seen Moos do this).
She says in a Big Trouble in Little China accent, “Halo sar. Wud yu like cheeken tday ba cue?”
That couldn't have been real. This chick listens to Pitbull at lunch.
I felt betrayed but enabled at the same time. This was just too obvious. I gave a silent reply, showing a glare that begged for honesty. I looked deep into her eyes and asked for an order of sincerity.
She asked again, “Sar, sar, that what yu wan?"
Shocked, I nodded to confirm. I second guessed myself only momentarily as I was reminded through the terrible accent that this woman was working a lie. She gave me my order number and receipt, and I walked away from her accent of deceit.