How Spicy Do You Want It?

Illustration by Christian Northeast

You didn’t ride the 7 train all the way out to Flushing just to have your waiter mistake you for an amateur, did you? But how do you convince him that, despite appearances and preconceptions, you want your food the way it comes, not a watered-down, Westernized facsimile? Easy. You look him straight in the eye and utter these magic words: “Don’t hold back the spice; I can handle it.” Here’s how to say it in five different languages.


Yang neum eul ppae ji ma se yo. Je ga gam dang hal su it seum ni da.

Ke yi jia la, wo shou de liao.

Arp khaane meh mirch dhaal sak de ho. Mujeh mirch pasandh heh.

Piro nalukaunos ma khana sakchhu.

How Spicy Do You Want It?