Friday, July 4, 2008

Cilantro in KFC

     Sometimes I have this craving for KFC’s chicken. One evening when I got home, I found a KFC coupon in the mail, so I decided to go for my “supposed-to-be-monthly” KFC trip (fried chicken isn’t very healthy, you see, so I try not to go there more than once per month). When I got there, I was quite surprised to find there were only two people in the line, so I walked to the line and waited my turn. "It shouldn’t take long," I thought.

     The first customer didn’t take long. When it’s done, the second customer walked up and started to give her orders. Normally, I don’t listen to the talks between the staff and their customers. I mean, other than ordering meals, what other “juicy” details can you get? But when I heard “how much is….” from  this young, slim, looks-like-this-is-her-first-time-coming-to-this-greasy-joint girl in front of me with her soft voice, I knew I ran into one of those hard-to-deal customers. I mean, she really took her time asking questions.

     Well, maybe I was too hard on her. After all, only TWO minutes had passed since she started her orders. “I don’t want cilantro,” she said, “I’ll have that as long as there’s no cilantro in it.” The clerk taking her order raised his finger to signal her to wait for a moment, and then he walked to a female worker who was packing meals and asked her questions. I figured either she was a senior member who knew how to deal with it or she could speak English and understand the term “cilantro”. They exchanged some talks in low voice, and then he walked back to the register and started punching in numbers. Another two minutes passed and we had more people waiting in the line.

     “I just don’t like cilantro. It has this funny taste …” the girl said. A guy waiting behind me heard this and gave a loud chuckle. I guess he found the whole thing amusing. The girl turned her head back, gave a “I’m sorry” kind of smile and tried to explain why.  Yeah, like we care.

     “It's only in the salsa,” the female packing staff answered. I guess she was trying to ensure this customer not to worry. Or, maybe what she meant was “Miss, the only place you'll find cilantro is in the salsa sauce. As long as you don't dunk your sorry finger in the sauce, you'll be fine. So please just come over here, grab your orders and shut the xxxx up.”

     Or, it's just me putting those words in her mouth.