Last Friday, I was super hungry in the afternoon so I went downstairs and crossed the road into this little shop selling (bad) bubble tea and other snacks like sausage-on-a-stick.
I ended up ordering one of my latest addictions – Peanut Butter & Condensed Milk Toast – and stood by the open kitchen to wait. I was a little spaced out but eventually my eyes focused on a woman who was even more spaced out than me.
With half-closed eyelids and a painfully bored expression on her face, she held a thick piece of toast on her left palm while spreading peanut butter on it with her right.
The thing was, she was wearing these big red, rubber dishwashing gloves, and there was nothing separating the piece of bread from her sloppy wet glove.
“That’s okay…” I said to myself. “Maybe they wear those gloves in the kitchen only to handle food, cuz y’know, bubble tea is wet and all…or maybe that bread isn’t even for me…”
The bored lady then chucked the bread into the toaster oven, picked up a dirty rag, and walked into the dining area. I kept my eyes on her as I watched her wipe tables (still wearing those rubber gloves), pick up someone’s leftover bowl of noodles, her thumb deeply submerged in the noodle soup, and walk back into the kitchen area with soup splashing all over her hand.
She then proceeded to open a can of condensed milk with the red rubber gloves, no doubt getting the sticky substance all over her hands, and then used it to slather over the toast. Finally, she put it in a box, pulled a rubber band around it and gave it to me.
At this point, I was thoroughly disgusted and there was no way I was gonna eat that, so I told another woman there (who seemed to be the bosslady), “Uhh.. your staff’s wearing those rubber gloves to make food AND clean the restaurant.. don’t you think that’s just a *LITTLE* unhygienic??” (not sure if she got my sarcasm there)
She replied, “Oh, they only wear those gloves in the kitchen-” but I snapped back, “I SAW her use them to wipe tables just now!!”
The bosslady said “Okay okay” and told another girl (also wearing red gloves) to make me another one, this time without gloves. So she peels off her gloves, and then used her moist, stinky and mildewy hands to make the toast again…
4 thoughts on “Red rubber gloves”
Bet that hasn't put you off PB&CM sandwiches though, huh. The thing is, if you hadn't seen the “making of”, the sandwich would have tasted just as delectable as you'd expect, and you'd probably go back for more the following week. =P
Man, it’s that submerged thumb that does my head in all the time. It’s so ubiquitous in HK… almost like it’s some kind of official eating custom. Even better when the thumb’s got a nice dirt-filled nail on it. Hmmmm… tasty.
oh that’s lame
OMG child! This is something that you make at home. I don't care how famously “lan” Hong Kong people are about making their own food. You know, there is something wrong if you are ordering the equivalent of a PB&J instead of DIY in the safety of your own kitchen. Please! Did you tell your mother you did this? You should tell her.