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<   No. 1495   2007-03-01   >

Comic #1495

1 Ophelia: More documentation. What a drudge. Nothing interesting ever happens around here, Mercutio.
2 Mercutio: There's an ancient Chinese curse...
2 Ophelia: "Interesting times." Yeah, I know.
3 Mercutio: No. "May your traditional cuisine be unrecognisably corrupted and then presented in small, easy-to-carry boxes to foreigners."
4 Ophelia: What?
4 Mercutio: See, now that was interesting.

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"May you live in interesting times."

I originally wrote Mercutio's line as:

"May your traditional cuisine be unrecognisably corrupted and then presented to foreigners in small, easy-to-carry boxes."
I realised that could be misinterpreted as saying that the foreigners were in small easy-to-carry boxes.
2016-12-04 Rerun commentary: Like many cuisines that travel around the world, Chinese food has mutated into new and wondrous forms in the many places where it can be found, such that many of the dishes that many people associate with "Chinese food" wouldn't even be recognised back in China.

This is so much so that Wikipedia has separate articles on:

Unfortunately it doesn't (yet) have an article on Australian Chinese cuisine, though I'm sure there's plenty of material for one.

A side effect of this divergence in cuisines that I notice when I travel to the USA is that, despite eating Chinese food frequently at home, when I go to a Chinese restaurant in the USA, I don't really recognise any of the items on the menu. I am not kidding, virtually everything on the menu is completely new to me. It's a bit like being in the Twilight Zone.

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