Hilarious Moments of Cultural Insensitivity

On Saturday, Loren, Gabriel, and I went to have dinner at a restaurant in Glendale, California, the city in which I live. Before I recount a couple of events from that evening, there is some background information that you must know:
  • Glendale has the largest population of Armenians in the United States.
  • This past week, the Armenians commemorated the Armenian Genocide—between 1915 and 1923, about 1.5 million Armenians were killed (out of 2.5 in the Ottoman Empire) by the Turkish government.
  • Modern-day Turkey does not recognize the term "genocide" as an accurate description of what happened, and this is a point of contention between the Armenians and the Turks nearly 100 years later.
  • Since we were in Glendale, we had an Armenian waitress at the Armenian-run restaurant.
First Scene. Gabriel Orders Food:

WAITRESS: And for you, sir?

GABRIEL: I think I want the Yogurt Kebab. Now this sounds kind of like this Turkish dish I had once. Is this like that Turkish dish? 'Cuz it sounds an awful lot like that Turkish dish.

WAITRESS: I don't know. (Pause.) I've never had Turkish food.

(GABRIEL nods. WAITRESS takes down the order and walks away. PRINCE slaps his own forehead. LOREN explains to GABRIEL the cultural faux pas.)

Second Scene. Loren Orders an After-Dinner Beverage:

WAITRESS: And for you, sir?

LOREN: I'd love some coffee. The kind that's poured out of that special container. I think it's Turkish Coffee. Is that right? Turkish Coffee? Yeah, I think I had the Turkish Coffee the last time I was here.

WAITRESS: I don't know. (Pause.) We have Armenian Coffee.

(LOREN nods. WAITRESS takes down the order and walks away. PRINCE slaps his own forehead. GABRIEL explains to LOREN the cultural faux pas.)

...Now I'm sure that not all Armenians hate the Turks and not all Turks hate the Armenians, but, in the same week that the Armenian Genocide is being remembered, do you really want to be the only two white people in the restaurant who put that theory to the test?


  1. your friend is an asshole!! Disown him...now!!!!

  2. Anonymous4/27/2008

    Loren and Gabriel may be assholes but trust me, they are totally hot. Which makes up for any inadvertant cultural insensitivity.

  3. This post is hillarious. And oh uh....Turkish people are hot. Just sayin....

  4. i'm wondering how loren liked his side order of spit in his food and drink.

  5. Yeh, they got more than they ordered, I guess you could say that they are now both part Armenian. Faux-pas, indeed.

  6. Oh, okay, if they're totally hot--I take it all back! :-)