I'm feeling sick, so I went to get some rice. I wanted South American rice instead of Asian rice, because all the "Asian" we have here is that gloppy Chinese stuff, which is only good if you're eating it with something.
When I left the office, I ran into one of our managers, and in the course of conversation in the elevator, I told him I was going to the little Peruvian takeout place to get just rice. He said that place was awful and I should go to this other place, which was "closer" and he told me how to get there.
I know this guy is odd, but for some reason I believed him.
First off, no reasonable person would call it "closer". I know this because it was cold, raining, and I was in heels. Second, it wasn't a little cafeteria-style takeout place, but a sit-down bar and grill--which I would feel weird just ordering plain rice from.
Third, and most significant, the waitress/barmaid/hostess person there spoke no English. At all. And she was the only staff in sight.
This is in Northern Virginia. There was /linen/ on the tables. No English.
I asked "Can I get something for carryout?" She said "
I said, "No hablo espanol. Hablo italiano." There was no real response to this.
I scrambled together all of my Spanish and mentioned the words "no" "comer" and "aqui" and she responded with "
The menu was entirely in English.
I thought about it for a minute. I could try to stumble through translating rice (which I didn't know how to say), do my little rice interpretive dance, and spend five minutes with her scrounging up someone who knew what I was talking about, and finally get a little $1 bowl of it to go.
So I left and went to Chicken Out. So much for culture.