When we flew into Saigon, in C-141s, we would often stop by the flightline cafeteria for breakfast or lunch as the aircraft was offloaded and uploaded with cargo. At that cafeteria they had this little “mama-san,” perhaps in her early 40’s or so. She would look up at yo and ask, all in one word, “”Watchuwant?”
Need to take a moment here to explain, the “Oriental mind” operates in a different plane that those of us in the Western culture. Doesn’t make it “right,” or “wrong;” just different. Knowing this, this one day we decided to have some fun.
The ‘AC,’ stepped up and told her he wanted an order of ‘chicken eggs.’ She came back at him with, “No habba chicken eggs. Habba fried eggs, scrambled eggs, eggs ah-over easy – no habba chicken eggs.” The AC then ordered what-ever.
I was next up to the counter. “Watchuwant?” she asked.
“Oh,” I replied, “I’ll have an order of chicken eggs.”
“NO habba chicken eggs,” she exclaimed. “Habba fried eggs, habba scrambled eggs,” and so forth. I gave her my order and stepped aside for the Nav (navigator) to order.
“Whatchuwant? she asked.
“Oh, I’ll have an order of chicken eggs” he replied.
At this time her temperature began to exceed the temperature on the ramp! She was becoming HOT!
Acting oblivious to it all while in line, the flight engineer and loadmaster also ordered “chicken eggs” when came their turn to order. By the time we left, she was ‘on fire!’ I don’t speak Vietnamese, but I can imagine: “Stupid Americans! No wonder they are ‘rosing’ war! How do they fry jets?” And so forth…
On our way back out to the jet, we past another crew, heading to the cafeteria. We pulled them aside and told them the “chicken eggs” that morning were OUTSTANDING!
And we wonder, “Why do they hate us so much?”
(Now I’m off to the kitchen – to fix an order of chicken eggs…)