Thursday, December 6, 2007
Pizza Hut South Asian Style
Walking into the South Asian Pizza Hut was a very interesting experience. Pizza Hut is considered to be one of the most glamorous restaurants in South Asia. In fact the one in Bangladesh happens to be the largest one in South Asia. I remember at ten going to Pizza Hut in the states,. I'd simply order my food to go to eat at home. The Pizza Hut in Bangladesh however does not have that "fast food" pace to it.
Upon my entrance, a guard opened the door, and a flute player greeted us with his music. With the impacts of globalization, I expected the food to have a syncretic feel to it. I wanted to see "chicken masala pizza" or naan sticks, yet the impact of soft power has hit South Asia full force with Pizza Hut. In fact, the pizza tastes as same as the food in the states.
There were many formalities involved. I sat down with my family, and we discussed what we were going to eat. It was huge deal. The waiters were very well dressed with their pizza hut outfits, and I had my menu in hand. We ended up ordering a "vegetarian pizza."
The food was mediocre...I managed to try and enjoy it. I kept thinking about the power of homogenization. It’s striking to see the influence of the west in the East. The funniest part of this experience was listening to Snoop, and Justin Timberlake. There was this artificial bubble created for the foreigners to adjust to the chaotic environment. It was a place to hide. I didn’t like it. I didn’t want to hide. I know I didn’t fit in. But I enjoyed not fitting in. I saw lots of white people there. There was also Pizza Etiquette there. We had to eat with a fork and knife, and the waiter continuously came to our tables to make sure everything was okay. My waiter in particular was very happy to wear his Pizza Hut outfit.
We sat, ate, listened to the commercialized hiphop and left. Upon leaving the flute player continued to play his music. The streets were the same, and I was out of "the bubble." **Sigh**