While standing in line at Pontian Wonton Noodle stall at the hawker center, there was a teenage Indian girl behind me wanting to order noodles as well.
Vendor Auntie: Yes, your order?
Indian Girl: I want one plate noodle but without pork. Eating here.
Vendor Auntie: *confused* No pork? (pointing to the char siew – slices of red bbq’ed pork)
Indian Girl: No pork.
Vendor Auntie: This one? (pointing to the wontons, which also contain pork)
Indian Girl: *confused* No pork. I don’t want pork. Can you make it vegetarian?
Vendor Auntie: *impatient* (walked away into the kitchen to process someone else’s order)
Indian Girl: (mumbling in irritation) She doesn’t understand what I am saying.
Me: (seeing that no one else in the queue bothered to explain to Indian Girl) This noodle has pork slices and those wontons also contain pork. She can’t make it vegetarian for you because the noodles are tossed in sauce with pork lard cubes too.
Indian Girl: Oh. Tell her to cancel my order then.
Then she walked to another stall two doors down selling… Bak Chor Mee*.
*Bak Chor Mee = ground pork noodles.