A few weeks ago, I tried to order Papa Johns from across the street to be delivered. It is really across the street. It all started in the winter when it was cold, when we picked it up ourselves and walked it across the street to the apt by the time we got inside, it was cold. Shanghai can get very cold in the winter. So we started having them deliver it from across the street in the magic keep pizzas warm bag. Our laziness has continued to the summer for what is our excuse now? It is not going to get cold, it is a million degrees out. I without guilt called for delivery (that happens over time, you have it and then one day no shame) and wanted to order a large thin crust veg pizza. They told me they don’t have the thin crust. I thought this was odd to not have one of the crusts of Papa Johns. It could happen and I am in China. That kind of stuff happens all the time. We didn’t order anything for I really wanted thin crust.
Tonight I call in an order again of a large thin crust vegetarian pizza. I am told they don’t have it. Here is how the conversation went down. They have an English service line.
Me: I would like to place an order for a large thin crust vegetarian pizza.
PJ: We don’t have it
Me: Don’t have what?
PJ: That pizza
Me: Vegetarian pizza?
My Mind: Maybe I am not using the menu name for it, it is maybe called something else.
Me: How about the garden pizza.
PJ: We don’t have that pizza.
Me: Are you saying you don’t have vegetables?
My Mind: Let me verify using my limited Chinese. Now how do I say it again? Long pause…
Me: méi yǒu shūcài, ma? (Don’t be impressed, when it comes to shopping and food I know what to say and I learned that last year, I haven’t improved)
PJ: Dui. (In English he replies) Yes. Our menu have changed. I will send the new menu.
My Mind: What pizza place doesn’t have vegetables? I know at team meetings when we order pizza, we make sure to have the coordinator order a vegetarian pizza, only 1 is always ordered. Guess what pizza is the first to go? The vegetarian. Once it is polished off, the group then chows down on the squid, shrimp and corn pizza leaving the actual vegetarians and those who have yet to understand seafood pizza out to dry. From my experience the local market does like vegetarian pizza. How do you not have vegetables?
Me: What do you have?
PJ: Anything but that.
My Mind: What does that really mean?
It continues. For I can’t believe it and won’t let it go.
Me: Do you have large thin crust cheese pizza
Me: Can I order a large thin crust cheese pizza with mushrooms, onions, and peppers?
The pizza and menu come. I look at the menu and there is a garden special and from the photo it looks like all vegetables to me. What I can’t tell if it is only available in the original crust and not thin, that could be what is going on and why a few weeks back they told me they didn’t have thin crust. They no longer have thin crust vegetarian pizza. I did get some “Papa John bucks” whatever they are good for with my order, maybe it is an attempt of service recovery because they know they screwed up saying they don’t have vegetable pizza. That would be out of the ordinary since customer service really doesn’t exist in China. I need to have someone translate it for me, it is in Chinese. It was all very strange. After all that the pizza was good.