Reservations and Restaurants

29 06 2007

I realized this a while ago, but I figured I’d finally blog about it. 

“Reservation” translates into something completely different in Chinese.

When you make a reservation at most “Western” restaurants, you can be pretty much assured that when you show up for your 1900 reservation that your table will be ready for you at that time.  You enter the restaurant, sit down, and enjoy a pleasant dining experience, without the hassle of waiting and pacing wondering when you’ll be able to sit down and spend some quality time with your dinner guests (in comparison to “waiting time” which is FAR from quality time).  You dine, relax and move on.  All quite stress free.  Nice.

When you make a reservation at “Chinese” restaurants, it seems to translate to “I’d like to reserve my spot in the waiting list for that time”.  This means that upon your arrival, the host/hostess acknowledges your presence and puts you into the queue.  Effectively you have “reserved” your spot in line, not a table. So when you arrive at 1900 for your reservation, if you’re lucky you’ll get seated at 1930 (if people that KNOW the staff don’t show up during that time).  If you’re unlucky, you’ve just missed a “seating cycle” and you could be waiting a VERY long time.  Take heart though – you’ll be ahead of the other people that are waiting that walked in.  Lucky you.

Why is this considered acceptable?  I know I don’t consider it so.  If 10 minutes has passed and I’m not sitting down, I start to let the host know of my displeasure.  I think one of the benefits of being a large Caucasian person is that they really don’t want to get you pissed off, so they do what they can to “make things work”.  Chinese clients, while apparently often unhappy, just seem to sit and fume quietly. 

Have you had this oddity happen to you?   What do you do about it?  Sit and take it, or remind them that YOU are paying (or would be if they’d get you a *##!#*%^ seat).

Long weekend coming up!  Enjoy.

Surrey Named as Canada’s Cultural Capital

26 06 2007


Perhaps culture is defined as drug using homicidal car theft?


Iwo Jima -> Iwo To

20 06 2007

Apparently, in classic military fashion the Americans misread the name of “Iwo Jima” for the little island in the Pacific.  It became famous for the epic battle pitching 10K US soldiers against 22K Japanese.  Leaving 7000 US and 0ver 20000 Japanese soldiers dead.  It was the site of the “flag raising on Suribachi”  It was the symbol of Allied perserverance that “We will win!”, and it was misnamed.

 The correct name of the Island is “Iwo To”.  As of today, the Japanese government has gone back to the historical name of the island, despite the now historical implications of the name. 

Why not leave it?  Many other places have changed names over time.  They don’t HAVE to go back to what they were “originally”

Happy Birthday George!

18 06 2007

Friday June 22nd will be the 250th birthday of the man after whom our city is named.

 Happy Birthday George Vancouver!  It’s been a good quarter millenium.   You don’t look a day over 150 🙂

Goodbye Facebook

15 06 2007

Well, it looks like Facebook is becoming too popular.  Like Myspace, without colours and music to make you puke, many people like to surf the hyperaddictive social networking site. All. The. Time. 

 Obviously this causes grief in a workplace environment and yesterday Facebook access became a thing of the past in our company.  Just too many people wasting too much time and bandwidth.   Killed by it’s own popularity.   Funny thing though. BECAUSE we banned Facebook, I went over last night and signed up, because now I wanted to see what it was all about.   Meh.

 It was nice that I could get in touch with some old friends from high school, but I can’t see myself using it regulary.  Now that I’ve got my profile up on facebook  (you’ll need to be a member to see it) and up on myspace.  I’ve made sure the website links  point to here, people can read about me here, see my pictures at the photoblog and keep in touch using comments or email.  I’m good.

 I wonder how long before more and more companies realize that these kind of sites are just killing productivity and in many cases even more precious bandwidth.

New Photo Galleries up

13 06 2007

I have posted up the pictures from our Cub Area camp at Camp Byng, from May as well as the photos from our day hike to Lynn Headwaters Regional Park on the first weekend in June.  I hope you enjoy them!

Campfire for 200:
Campfire at Camp Byng

Cubs at Lynn Headwaters:
40th Marpole Cubs ready for their hike at Cedar Loop trail in Lynn Headwaters Regional Park, North Vancouver


11 06 2007

I saw this on Metafilter.  Good, interesting links (stolen unabashedly):

How to build and start a fire. How to build and start a fire with stone age tools. How to start a fire in an emergency. How to start a fire without matches. How to start a fire with sticks. How to start a fire with airand possibly inspire the birth of the diesel engine. How to start a fire with ice. How to start a fire with chocolate and a coke can.

More good stuff at the Metafilter link

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