Saturday, December 27, 2008

Interesting Asian Restaurant Names

Now that all that kerfuffle with the US election is over, I return to one of my other main interests in life - chuckling at my Asian brothers and sisters. In a nice way of course.

Chinese restaurant names usually follow a certain predictable pattern: one adjective (golden, imperial, little, lucky, etc), followed by a noun (dragon, garden, palace, king, bamboo, etc). So you get names like Golden Buddha, Jade Palace, Bamboo Garden, yada yada. It's all pretty formulaic. Yet there are still some restaurant names out there that make you stop the car and think "Huh? What's that supposed to mean?"

Or alternatively, just a good old infantile Beavis & Butthead style "hehehe" at something that sounds slightly rude.

I love this. Not Nathan's. Just Nathan. As if it required no further explanation. I mean, if you call a restaurant Fong's, or Lim's, you can guess what sort of food it is. I'm not sure about Nathan though. Is this title a tribute to Nathan Road in Hong Kong? Or just some bloke named Nathan?

Turns out this place is actually called "Silky Swallow", which is quite a normal Chinese restaurant name (or alternatively, a good name for a pornographic movie). But their signwriter clearly wasn't having one of his better days. It was enough to make me stop the car and ponder that eternal question: "What is a Silky Wallow?"

Of course, finding Thai names that sound silly to the English speaker is like shooting fish in a barrel.

I wonder what cuts of meat this butcher specialises in?

(Oh,and I know this is a butcher, rather than a restaurant, so no need to point out my inconsistency, smartypants)

The salted plums here are like so good, they are like "Omigod!"

Clearly there were too many potential patrons who might mistakenly think that a place called "Rice Bar" serves nothing but rice. Glad they cleared up any confusion before it happened.

I'm told the food here is much nicer than you would expect from a place pronounced "Nausea's Kitchen".

These were all taken around Melbourne, in places that I happened to be passing. There are surely better ones out there. Please feel free to contribute more if you come across them.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Santa Claus - profile of a sex offender

“He knows when you are sleeping…. He knows when you’re awake”

As Christmas draws closer and closer, ponder on this:

You are a parent of young children. You get word that there is a fat bearded stranger lurking around your neighbourhood giving out presents to children and encouraging them to sit on his lap. He has apparently been watching your children’s every move for the last year. One night soon, he plans to wait until everyone is asleep, then climb stealthily onto your roof and into your house through the chimney.

“Honey, get the f@#*ing shotgun!”

On a briefly serious note though, I do wonder if fairytales like Santa Claus and the tooth fairy may contribute to children’s susceptibility to falling prey to pedophiles. Someone should do a study on that.

Just pondering, that’s all.

Monday, December 15, 2008


Last week I played netball. Yeah, I said it. Mixed netball. Yes, it’s basically a girls’ sport. No, I didn’t have to wear a skirt. I was filling in for my friend Priya's team because they were one person down. I played half the game at centre and half at goal attack, and was equally underwhelming in both roles. The female centre on the other team totally outplayed me, I admit.

Does it make me any less of a man? I don’t think so.

If you didn’t know this, netball is pretty tough on the joints, since you need to be able to come to a dead stop once you run to catch the ball. And I came out of the game wincing at my throbbing left knee. Now, I play a lot of sport – soccer twice a week, basketball once a week, and coach badminton several times a week during school term. Knee problems? Nada. Yet it took barely 10 minutes of netball to give me a really worrying twinge – worrying because several of my friends have had knee reconstructions recently, and it doesn’t seem like a lot of fun. In the sports that I play, I’m pretty fast, but if you take speed out of my game, I’m a bit of a hack, really. So a damaged knee would remove much of the enjoyment from my week’s activities.

So I’ve decided never to play netball again. My knees and ankles are too valuable to jeopardise by playing something I’m not totally passionate about. That’s right, I’m retiring from a girl’s sport because it is too physically demanding for me.

Does that make me less of a man? I’ll have to think about that one.