1.10.04

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Here is Ann at Planet Thailand in Natchez, demonstrating how to make "baby chopsticks" for customers who don't know how to use chopsticks. She learned this trick from a Japanese restaurant. After we interviewed her for a while, she made us sing karaoke. I picked out "Puff the Magic Dragon", but instead of Puff frolicking in the autumn mist, the visuals were of a woman in a bikini frolicking on a beach. We laughed so hard we could barely finish the song.

What does this have to do with Chinese restaurants? Well, Ann's family had moved from Los Angeles to open a Thai restaurant in Louisiana before they came to Natchez. When they first opened, the phone constantly rang with requests for various Chinese dishes like orange chicken. Ann's dad, who was the cook, didn't know how to make any of these things, so they went to the nearest Chinese restaurant, ordered them, figured out how to make them, & added them to the menu. They ended up having to cook about 80% Chinese food & only 20% Thai, until an enthusiastic customer from Natchez persuaded them that Thai food would have a more appreciative audience in Natchez. They kept some Chinese items on the menu, though, & now they serve about 20% Chinese food. They also serve a fair amount of sushi.

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