I am pretty adept at negotiating my way through this world. I suspect this is owing to a healthy curiosity coupled with a peculiar irrationality with regard to my actual abilities.
If I can think it, I think I could do it. Although most of the time my imagination far outstrips the execution.
Like last night when I figured I could speak Vietnamese. Frankly I have eaten enough Vietnamese food to be able to say that at this point I am a quarter Vietnamese.
But as I found out last night none of that quarter is linguistic.
Evil Twin and I went to Anh Hong last night. She wanted the spring rolls with crispy wonton skin and grilled ham. Do they have that on the menu? No. Did I let that stop me? No.
My friend T-Man is Vietnamese and he orders them all the time. I figured at the very least I could couple the right words together. I know the word for Vietnamese grilled ham is "nem" and the word for spring roll is "cuon". So I figured if I ordered "nem cuon" I would get what I wanted. The Evil Twin was totally impressed.
Unfortunately what I didn't know was that there is a word for crispy wonton skin which I don't know. And yet another word for the pickle that makes the extra delicious that I also don't know.
Which means that what we got were these flaccid spring rolls filled with vermicelli, shredded cabbage, and hunks of grilled ham. Exactly what I ordered.
Seriously, these rolls looked like fat guy pee-pees. It was really hard to eat them, but also because we were just laughing so hard.
O well, live and learn how to ask for ALL the ingredients. Besides, deep down I know that I could speak Vietnamese if I really had to.