THE BEST OXTAIL SOUP
Instead of taking a walk, we drove right to the front of the restaurant and had "sifu’s parking", the meaning of which had been explained earlier in this book for those who might not understand the term sufficiently. The restaurant had the charms of both France and Vietnam though located in the United States.
A pretty Asian-looking waitress handed us some menus. I don’t remember what else we ordered but an item I can remember very well was oxtail soup which Riccardo and Eugene wanted to try.
“Hold on,” I said. I made an indication with my hands so that they bent low for me to whisper to them because I did not want the pretty waitress to hear our secret conversation.
“In Chinese cuisine, and much of Vietnamese culture is Chinese,” I said softly, “The term oxtail may refer to an ox’s penis. I don’t know about you, but I certainly do not want to order an ox’s penis, regardless of how good or bad it tastes.”
“Why do the Chinese like to eat an ox’s penis?” Eugene was keen to know.
“Some Chinese,” I corrected Eugene’s statement. “The Chinese on the whole do not eat oxen’s penises, but some Chinese do.”
“Yes, some Chinese,” Eugene repeated. “But why?”
“I don’t know whether they like the ox’s penis, but I’m sure they like the sexual prowess the ox’s penis is reputed to give them.”
Riccardo and Eugene smiled knowingly.
“For us,” I continued, “With our chi kung, we don’t need the service of an ox’s penis.”
Riccardo and Eugene smiled more broadly and nodded their head.
“We’ve to find out whether the oxtail stated here is really the ox’s tail or the ox’s penis,” Riccardo wisely said. But we did not want to ask the waitress who was standing nearby as the question might cause her embarrassment.
As I have often mentioned, coincidences do not just happen. Just then, the pretty waitress walked to another table further away as the diners there wanted her attention, and a young, handsome, chubby, male waiter was walking briskly by.
“Excuse me, sir,” I waved to the waiter.
He came towards us and said, “Yes, sir, can I help you?”
I pointed to the oxtail soup item in the menu, and said, “In Chinese, ox’s tail may also mean ox’s penis. Is this ox-penis soup?”
“Ho, ho, ho!” He burst out laughing aloud. “Ho, ho, ho, we don’t do such things here.” He repeated, “We don’t do such things here!”
So, with his assurance, we ordered the oxtail soup.
“It comes in a set of two bowls, sir.”
“Then just a set of two bowls will do. Please bring an empty bowl so that we can share the soup.”
That was typically American, Chinese or Vietnamese where customers were kings. I didn’t know about the French, but a typical Spanish waiter might ask, “Why do you need an empty bowl for?”
Sometimes I thought of answering, “To knock your head!”
The oxtail soup was excellent, so excellent that we ordered another two sets of four bowls, with the fourth bowl shared among the three of us. I included this oxtail soup in my list of ten types of the most delicious food I have eaten in my travels.
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