Walking through San Francisco’s Chinatown, a tourist from the Midwest was enjoying the artistry of all the Chinese restaurants, shops, signs and banners when he turned a corner and saw a building with the sign “Moshe Plotnik’s Chinese Laundry”.
“Moshe Plotnik?” he wondered. “How does that belong in Chinatown?” He walked into the shop and saw a fairly standard looking dry cleaner, although he could see that the proprietors were clearly aware of the uniqueness of the store name as there were baseball hats, T-shirts and coffee mugs emblazoned with the logo “Moshe Plotnik’s Chinese Laundry.”
The tourist selected a coffee cup as a conversation piece to take back to his office. Behind the counter was a smiling old Chinese gentleman who thanked him for his purchase.
The tourist asked, “Can you explain how this place got a name like ‘Moshe Plotnik’s Laundry?’
The old man answered, “Ah…Evleebody ask me that. It name of owner.”
Looking around, the tourist asked, “Is he here?”
“It me,” replies the old man.
“Really? You’re Chinese! How did you ever get a name like Moshe Plotnik?!”
“Is simple”, said the old man.”Many many year ago I come to this country. I standing in line at Documentation Center of Immigration. Man in front of me was Jewish man from Poland. Lady at counter look at him and say, “What your name?”
He say, “Moshe Plotnik.”
Then she look at me and say, “What’s your name?”
I say, “Sam Ting.”