Wednesday, 26 August 2009

This and that

In Rome we have a few Chinese restaurants, some combine Chinese with Japanese and do a bad job of both.
The usual complaint is too much MSG which gives you dry mouth, a light head and or a bad headache for a few hours.
I avoid Chinese restaurants in Rome because after eating Chinese cuisine in the PRC it is difficult to find anything well done elsewhere. There is one restaurant near the Office, they do both Japanese and Chinese, the decor is typical ticky tacky Chinese decor, the service is surly, the staff speak neither Mandarin nor Cantonese, it seems more like another dialect from southern China possibly Fokkien. I cannot imagine their lives being terribly interesting in Italy, not much room is made for anyone who is not Italian or Italian speaking. They do speak Italian but just enough to take orders and that's it. I often think that their world is a lonely ghetto existence within their own community.

There is one restaurant on Via Cavour near the Roman Forum, know as a Gay Chinese Restaurant, the only one of its kind in Rome. Again weird Chinese decor, which is supposed to please the white folk who eat there. When you enter the restaurant the Hostess who is always in a state of excitement, will decide if you go left or right in the dining room based on if she thinks you are gay or not, it seems to work somehow and the patrons find this hilarious. The food is not bad but it is Italianized Chinese meaning without spices and fairly bland. There are a couple of Japanese restaurants but I have not gone to any of them yet. Though I read recently that Japanese tourism to Italy is down 50% in the last 12 months to 1.5 million visitors, due to a series of scandals involving restaurants and bars in Rome and elsewhere overcharging for meals and drinks. One restaurant charged a Japanese couple 700 Euros for lunch, the actual price of their meal was 40 Euros. The Minister of Tourism apologized to the couple in a Japanese newspaper for this incident and offered on behalf of the Italian Government to pay for their next vacation in Italy, they declined the offer. Japanese tourist spend a lot of money in Italy but there is no appreciation for their value as clients and visitors. Other tourist on Via Veneto have also been the target of such scams, usually it happens in high end restaurants and bars.

I was just reading that Chris Brown 20 yrs old the ex-boyfriend of Rihanna 21 yrs old singer from Barbados has been sentenced to physical labour and probation for 5 yrs with counseling over his anger issues. Now I do not know who these two people are but according to Yahoo news they must rank on the same level as Bill Clinton or other world leaders and their lives are fascinating apparently. What struck me as funny was the fact that a record label owner and a pastor had written letters of support on his behalf to the Judge at sentencing. His career is over apparently and Rihanna thinks the punishment was too harsh, though he beat her up at least 3 times according to police reports. She appears to suffer from low self-estime. Brown blames his family for the violence he saw as he grew up, he appears to have lack maturity issues.
But why is it that each time one of those so called celebrities get in trouble, a pastor will pop-up as if that is the cure all.

Who will believe that Chris Brown found religion all of a sudden, pastors are a dime a dozen, you probably can rent one before sentencing in the hope of influencing the judge, a bit like the Twinkie defense.


  1. I totally agree that our fascination with celebrities is absurd!! It was terrible that Rhianna got beaten up, but must we read about it everyday? We rarely hear about the average women who suffers from domestic abuse!

    I can't believe the overcharge scandals in Italy. Reminds me of my visit to Morocco but nowhere was Morocco that extreme (700 Euros vs 40?). It's really despicable for businesses to do that to foreigners. And I find it more surprising that it is the high end restaurants. I would have expected mid-end or low-end restaurants to overcharge. Good for the Japanese to boycott Italy!

  2. If this fascination was followed by concrete action for all women and a change of attitude in young males like Chris Brown who should know better, then yes it would be worthwhile. But nothing really changes. I also do not believe the excuse of Brown when he says that as a child he saw a lot of domestic violence in his home so he is simply following suit.

    Yes in Rome beware of those fancy restaurants on the main Piazza's they often rip-off tourists.
    It is unfortunate, Via Veneto is particularly bad, recently Cafe de Paris was involved in a scandal over overcharging and cheating on taxes.
    Small family run restaurants are not likely to rip you off because they serve a more local clientele and bad publicity could prove fatal for their business. Big restaurants don't care so much and may also have mafia links so...