Day 57: The ABCs of ABCs #3 – the cafés we avoid

Day 57: The ABCs of ABCs #3 – the cafés we avoid

Day 57: The ABCs of ABCs #3 – the cafés we avoid

Thursday, 26 February 2015

If you ask for plate of scrambled eggs, you’ll usually get a creamy blend of farm-fresh eggs with a dash of milk or cream, maybe some butter, whipped until perfectly aerated, gently pan-fried and served in tender, fluffy folds with maybe a pinch of salt to enhance the flavour.

There’s another type of scrambled eggs; two eggs beaten to within an inch of their lives, fried to a crisp on a hot skillet with a little oil, served in dried clumps of varying size.

The former is what you get from any of the well-worn cafes of Balmain, Newtown, Darlinghurst, Bondi or Surry Hills.

The latter is the Chinese variety, typically prepared by FOBs. Well actually, I know people who’ve been here for 30 years and they still make it that way. Either way, it’s for the simple reason that they just don’t get it.

These same people think Vegemite should be spread liberally on toast, like peanut butter. Again, it’s because they just don’t get it.

Now, I’m not saying all Chinese people are like this, but most ABCs will have experienced enough of it to know this: if you see a café run by an all-Chinese crew? You do what we do. You run. Like the wind.


The ABCs of ABCs is a light-hearted attempt to explain the ins and outs of the Australian-Born Chinese culture for Caucasians who can’t make any sense of it. There’s a lot of idiosyncratic behaviour I get asked the same questions about, so I’m going to do my best to answer them. Call it my way of bridging the gap between cultures. 

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