Saturday, 3 August 2013

Breakfast at Tom's Farm. Alternate Title: Lost In Translation. Second Alternate Title: Why It's A Miracle I Didn't Lose Weight In America.

So I've been hanging out in the US of A for the past week with my friend Carole from Toot Sweet 4 Two. We met at Bloggy Boot Camp Vegas last year and totally hit it off, although, to be fair, **not** hitting it off with Carole poses a far greater challenge!

Carole had kindly agreed to drive me from her home near Escondido (kind of outer San Diego) up to my aunt's house in Pasadena at the end of my stay, and we stopped by the side of the highway at Tom's Farm for breakfast. It started out as a produce stand on the side of the I15 near Lake Elsinore and has now morphed into almost a destination unto itself. It has a diner, a Mexican restaurant, a wine/cheese place, a produce store, a traditional candy store, a furniture shop and a model train and pony rides for the kids. And on weekends it hosts a craft market as well as the occasional blues show.

Anyway, I tried my darndest to order breakfast there, and all I can say is "lost in translation". My own thoughts were encapsulated by a set of pointy brackets, but it did something funky to the formatting and they all disappeared :(

ME: "I'll have the hotcakes combo with bacon and fried eggs over easy"
SERVER LADY: *blank look* "I'm sorry, how do you want your eggs?"
ME: "Uh, you know, like, sunny side down...?"
SERVER LADY: "Uhh..." *looks as Carole for help and then back to me* *crickets chirp*
ME: "Um, you know, fry the eggs, flip 'em but try not to bust the yolks...?" *awkward laughter*
CAROLE: "So I think she wants the eggs over, a little cooked on top"
SERVER LADY: "Oh, okay, so how do you want them?"
ME: "Medium please. Like, not too hard but not too runny."
SERVER LADY: "Right, gotcha. And what do you want to drink?"
ME: "Can I have a cup of tea, please?"
SERVER LADY: "Sure, uh, so you want, like, hot tea?"
ME: "Yes, please."
SERVER LADY: "And would you like blueberries or chocolate chips in your hotcakes?"
ME: *stunned look* "Blueberries, please."

(And for the record, blueberry pancakes go really well with fried eggs! Crazy, I know.)

(Also, Carole assures me that I used the correct terminology straight up. I can only assume she was concentrating on my accent and not my words, because that's what I do when Irishmen speak and... *vagues out to a happy place full of cute Irishmen with charming accents*)


  1. Well, it sounds like you *eventually* had a tasty breakfast!

    Speaking of accents, my workmate was talking about buying an "air" thermometer for a friends baby. I thought that was stupid, you can tell if it's too hot or cold inside... it took about ten minutes to work out that she was saying EAR thermometer, which makes far more sense :-/

    1. HAHA oh dear. I bet you were picturing some fancy wall-mounted thing for the nursery with cute little teddy bears on it or something :)

      That also reminds me of one time when Sheepy with his New Zealand accent said to Fajar, "Faj, you're smarter than your average bear". But of course it came out sounding like "smarter than your average beer", so not only did Faj miss the Yogi Bear reference, he also didn't realise that Sheepy had not, in fact, said beer. "Beer? Beer? I'm afraid I don't understand...". Good times :)

  2. Hahahahaha! Too funny and soooo accurate! Love the post! Miss you!

    1. I miss you, too!

      This actually made me wonder how often this has happened in my travels, when I have been trying to speak another language, and they just haven't been able to communicate their depth of confusion to me...

  3. Hilarious post! Your blog is quickly becoming my favourite one!

  4. haha! Yes you did use the correct terminology. I think that it is hard for Americans to think you want something other than coffee or cold sweet tea. Can't wait to hear more stories!

    1. Something that was unfortunately missed in the post due to a formatting error was my thought process during the whole scenario. And with the egg terminology, I was thinking "That's what they say in the movies, so it must be right. Yeah! How cool am I! Look at me go, making it easier for Americans to understand me!" (Which, by the way, I have to do all the time. Taps become faucets. Thongs become flip-flops or sandals. Jumpers become sweaters. Biscuits become cookies. Things can get really confusing at times!) And then imagine my horror when it appeared that I was speaking another language and had got it all completely wrong! Hehe but it's a lot of fun :)

    2. HAHA On the Thongs, yeah if you brought up thongs they would think those really uncomfortable butt floss undies. I also think it's definitely different parts of the country. For example if you are in midwest you would refer to coke/sprite as Pop, other parts call it Tonic, other portions of the country call it Soda. I lived in CA briefly and they immediately knew I was from the east coast by my accent and the way I referred to certain items. I love accents!

    3. Yeah, the soda thing confused me! Luckily I don't actually drink the stuff, but when I was referring to it I would get blank looks. Especially if I accidentally used the Aussie terms - "fizzy drink" or "soft drink". Both of which make perfect sense - it's fizzy, and it's not hard liquor!

  5. Sweet tea is in the south. Up in the North of America we don't drink sweet tea. Not "All Americans" are the same. By the way, that is considered "Over easy" in America. Sunny Side up is obvious, Over Hard would be the fully cooked yolk and Over easy would be cooked whites but still runny yolk!

    1. See, that's what I wanted - over easy - and I asked for it and it still confused them! I'm beginning to realise what huge variation there is in both language and in food across the States.


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