Being serenaded by dancing staff is fine; being serenaded and then asked to join in with the dancing is less so. For probably our last meal in a Chinese restaurant, Bron and I met up with Anny in one of the branches of the Haidilao Hot Pot* restaurant chain on Monday evening. Towards the end of our meal, Anny was approached by one of the waitresses asking if they could perform a dance routine for us. The explanation was a little tenuous: the Chinese for “I love you” is “Wo ai ni” (pronounced “woah I knee”). The date for our meal was May 20th, which in Chinese is “Wu er ling”. Apparently they sound sufficiently similar to warrant declaring it “I love you” day, and hence a strange need to serenade foreigners. We weren’t complaining though…
Until we were asked to join in that is, performing a dance routine in the middle of a restaurant. A couple of other Chinese diners joined in to help us, somewhat less embarrassed than us.
Yet again, another memorable night – but dancing in a restaurant is something I won’t be looking to repeat any time soon.
A sad farewell to Anny then – a close friend who we will sorely miss.
*A Hot Pot restaurant is one in which diners choose a type of soup (or soups) and then cook raw ingredients in it at the table. It’s one of my favourite styles of Chinese food – we need more of these in the UK.