Pancakes. [Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia]


Talk about cultural differences.

It was St. Patrick’s day so I was telling my friends that we should make pancakes! So Ania from Poland came with pancake ingredients and said we could make them! They weren’t going to be green pancakes, but I have a really vivid imagination so, meh. So, I happily looked up a pancake recipe while Ania started mixing flour, soda water (?), sugar, salt, milk and egg together. I then helped mix it to the perfect pancake consistence but I quickly realized that we didn’t have crucial pancake ingredients such as baking powder, etc. Ania said she knew how to make them so I trusted her as she began to pour MORE soda water into the batter and then proceed to spoon really thin batter into the frying pan.

I was very skeptical (and I’m a h-core micro manager unfortunately) so I asked her if she was SURE she knew what she was doing….

We ended up with something that looked like roti or chapati, or naan gone wrong. So I told Ania that the pancakes were really weird. I asked her why they didn’t get all big and fluffy like I expected and Ania looked at me with a puzzled look. So I asked her if she knew what I was talking about and if she was trying to cook pancakes that were golden-brown, big and thick and fluffy and so yummy, just like I was trying to, because she did not seem worried about the state of our pancakes at all.

The she said she had no idea what I was talking about and that these pancakes were just fine. THIS is when I came to the realization that while I was trying to make pancakes, Ania was trying to make crepes! We were trying to cook two different things TOGETHER! And when we determined that this was in fact the situation, this picture is captured our reaction.

We broke down in fits of laughter. All I can say is that it was a really, really weird cultural moment where I learned that there is a difference between what we call pancakes in North America and what the REST OF THE WORLD calls pancakes. I can confidently say this because every single person that came to the pool gathering after was asked the question “What do you call these?” *point to pancake/crepe* and the Polish, the Belgian, the Egyptian, the Spaniard, the Hungarian, the Slovak and the Bangladeshi all said “pancakes”….. The beauty of people from all backgrounds living and growing together. It’s quite an education.

Post your comment