I took the family out for dinner to a little noodle place that I like. It’s not fancy, but the noodles are made fresh in-house. We ordered our respective flavors of noodle soup, then went to sit down and wait for our food.
In a few minutes, they called out our number, meaning that our noodles were ready. My kids went to pick up our noodles. Three bowls of noodles appeared on our table.
But there were four of us. And we ordered four bowls of noodles.
We assumed that S’s noodles just took longer to prepare, and that they would call out our number in a minute or two, announcing that her noodles were done. The kids were hungry, and S told them to start eating.
A few minutes passed. No noodles appeared for S.
She went to go check on her noodles. Where are my noodles? she asked.
The restaurant employees looked at her with a dumbfounded expression. What? Your noodles aren’t ready? A furious argument broke out in the kitchen. Recriminations bounced back and forth. You forgot to make her noodles! You are a person of less than average intelligence! Your lack of a sense of customer service causes people not to want to eat in our restaurant! Their shrieks echoed throughout the kitchen and rolled out into the restaurant. How can you make her stand here, noodle-less and hungry?!
After about ten minutes of waiting, the kids and I had finished our noodles, and S still was without noodles. Finally she decided that she just would get her money back.
More dumbfounded expression. What? You want your money back? After we worked so hard to make your noodles?
But you didn’t make my noodles, S pointed out. You made me wait, and now we’re finished eating and want to leave, so I want my money back for the noodles that you didn’t make.
But we’re making your noodles now! they countered.
You’ve been making my noodles for 30 minutes, and I haven’t seen any noodles, S stated calmly. So please give me my money back, and we’ll try again next time.
Yes! Next time! We will certainly make your noodles for you quickly and promptly, they vowed. Your noodles will not be tardy next time!
I wasn’t surprised at the drama over a bowl of noodles, but I was surprised that S actually got her money back.
Where else but in China can a bowl of noodles cause so much drama?