A few months ago, some friends from church started going through a process to open their home to a foreign exchange student. After several months of waiting, Cesare Rey (roll the "r"s, emphasis on the "re") arrived on Wednesday night. We started calling him Cez immediately because only a handful of us can roll our R's! Last Sunday night some of us met at Starbucks to hang out and get to know him better. We somehow got on the subject of food, particularly Italian and American food. He said they had gotten pizza one night, but he didn't like it at all. We all asked were it was from and he replied that it was from Pizza Hut. Everyone at the table pitched a conniption fit because Pizza Hut is such a bad example of American pizza. Some of us started joking that it was a piece of cardboard with some sauce and cheese on top. Cez's eyes got really big and exclaimed "that's what it tasted like!" (in his awesome Italian accent!)
The Starbucks we were at is right next to a Papa Johns, and every time we're in there after 9:00 or so (we generally close the place!), one of the girls from Papa Johns brings over a pizza on exchange for coffee for her and the other Papa Johns cashiers (pretty good deal if you ask me!). Sunday night was no exception. While she was choosing her drink, one of the girls in our group came up with a great idea. We all agreed that it was worth a try, so when she was leaving we called her over and introduced Cez. We told her that he was a foreign exchange student from Italy, and that Pizza Hut had given him a misconception of American pizza and we wanted him to try some "real" pizza. Then we asked if she could give him a sample slice of pizza. She said that, unfortunately she couldn't give him a slice, but if we wanted to sample a whole pizza, she could do that. How could we turn down free pizza?? So we asked for a pepperoni pizza and she left to get it for us. Apparently they were determined that the Italian boy like their pizza, because it was almost a half hour before she brought it to us. Of course he got the first piece, and we all sat there watching him eat his first bite, which he said later was rather awkward (the looks, not the pizza). He loved it! He said that it tasted exactly like Italian pizza and not a bit like cardboard! It was probably the best pizza I've ever had from there, even though it burnt our mouths because it was so hot and fresh! We joked about it the rest of the night. Someone actually mentioned taking Cez to a Porche dealer, which was especially funny because Porche is a German company, not Italian! I think it should be a national holiday, what do you think? Maybe next time we can find an Asian to take to Kobe!