Saturday, August 14, 2010

I May Have Just Ordered a Pizza....

We have an inside joke between all of us foreigners here in South Africa that no matter what we are asking for (even if it is not food related) we are probably going to get a pizza. Even though the majority of the people speak English here, they have such a strong accent and so many local words that we are having a bit of a communication breakdown. The other day Trent tried to order jalapeno's in his omelette but the waitress could not understand what it was he wanted. She said "parmesan cheese?" and Trent said "no, jalapeno's" and she said "oh, potatoes". It gets to the point when you just say never mind. We are so used to getting our order's wrong, that one time friends of ours received another tables food but ate it because they just assumed the waitress didn't take the order right!

I am very sick of eating out here. It does not matter what restaurant you eat at the menu's are almost the same everywhere. They all have steak, hamburgers, chicken, pizza, the same 4 salads, and weird sandwiches. You think you would be safe ordering a club sandwich but they have no idea what turkey is, so their club sandwich comes with chicken and this yucky mayo. The pizza here is amazing but I can't eat it 6 times a week. Everything seems to come with tomatoes (pronounced toe-mah-toes)and cheese including breakfast dishes that shouldn't include such ingredients (i.e. French toast).

Yesterday, Trent and I were so excited to find a Mexican food restaurant that promised authentic Mexican cuisine! It looked like a restaurant you would find in Puerto Vallarta. I ordered a burrito that was supposed to come with beef and refried beans. What I got was an open tortilla with strips of steak, some kind of bbq sauce and kidney beans. On the side was sautéed zucchini and carrots. Trent ordered a chimichanga that was actually 3 meat pies. Needless to say we will not be going back.

We are eating at home and cooking more than ever before. But that too is challenging. Many of the foods we typically eat are hard to find or have a different name. Trent went to 3 different stores to find pinto beans and finally realized the reason he couldn't find them is because here they are called red speckled sugar beans (that doesn't even make sense). When you ask a clerk for help finding something they just stare at you like you are slow in the head!

It is fun learning South African terminology. The following is a list of some of the words we have learned so far:

Traffic Light (Robot)
Truck (bakkie)
grocery cart (trolley)
stroller (pram)
Barbecue (Braai)
Lettuce (rocket)
# (hash)
jerky (biltong)
something done quickly (now now)
something done later or in awhile (just now)
greeting (howzit)
yes (yebo)
queue (line)
restroom/bathroom (toilet)
French fries (chips)

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