A blog about sociology, written by students in Doha, Qatar.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Thai Chi and My Mother
According to some people, excluding me of course, Chinese food could be considered a therapy for the soul, something to worship. So after begging my mother to take me to a Chinese restaurant to have a taste of the holy food she agreed, and she even told me that she knows a great place in Villagio: Thai Chi.
My mother was positive that this restaurant is the best in Doha, I didn’t bother to ask why so I went along. After arriving in Villagio, I noticed that it is indeed the coolest looking restaurant compared to those around it, and the waitresses were wearing beautiful qipao. The restaurant was packed. We had to wait for 15 minutes to be seated. In those 15 minutes I was looking at the costumers in the restaurants, and since it was the 14th of February (Valentine’s Day a.k.a National Sports day in Qatar) the place was filled with couples. Except for an old man who was dining alone. I never paid attention to the nationalities of the costumers though.
I probably went through the menu ten times before I actually settled on an order: noodles and sweet and sour chicken, I honestly didn’t know what to order, everything seemed so delicious. My mother on the other hand gave the waitress the benefit of the doubt and let her choose for her.
While waiting for the food my mother kept looking at an Asian couple next to us. She kept telling me about what they ordered: “oh look, they ordered tea, do you think we should? What is that? A soup, we should’ve gotten soup too, it looks good” and went on and on about it. Finally, I asked her why did she choose this place in particular for us, her answer was very simple: because I saw a lot of Chinese people eating here, so it must be good. *Awkward silence*
I looked around and indeed, more than half of the people dining here were Asian, coincidence? Maybe. But since when do we judge a restaurant depending on who eats there? According to my mother, that’s how we know the good restaurants from “fake” ones. I personally think that the race of the costumers has nothing to do with the quality of food. Authenticity on the other hand is important, if I were in a foreign country, I would certainly go to middle-eastern restaurant, regardless of how good the food is there, if the place reminds me of home I will be a regular costumer there. So maybe that is why.