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Mistakes were made

New York City meets Munich

December 27th, 2001 · No Comments · Uncategorized

Guten Appetit

Truth be told, I’m not much of a food person. No one will ever accidentally mistake me for being a gourmand. If there were a meal pill that would cure the dual problems of hunger and nutrition available for a reasonable price, I’d certainly partake. I know it’s a shame, it reflects on a poor relationship with food, it’s a missed opportunity for increased pleasure in life, and so forth.

I know some people who wear their limited taste in food like a badge of honor, but for me, I’ve always been embarrassed at my unworldly dining ways. I hate being the killjoy when it comes to selecting a place to eat. When the group I’m with begins brainstorming for restaurants, I inwardly cringe as exotic styles of cuisine are rattled off. Being labeled a picky eater is one step above living with food sensitivities. But at least the people who have actual food allergies do exciting things when exposed to the wrong food, like swell up or asphyxiate. People who are picky just complain and look grumpy. In the end, people don’t want to eat out with either types. So I try to hide this failing of mine as best I can.

I suppose it’s another fine example of my neurotic relationship with food that I am less concerned about going hungry when dining out than I am with being the party pooper. After all, I can almost always nibble on rolls and drink myself silly. Eating out is more a social thing, anyway, with the “eating” part secondary. Or for me, it is.

There’s been a general tendency for improvement as I’ve gotten older, wiser, more mature, older, though. I try more things. I worry less about what is on my fork before I put it in my mouth. I work on controlling my gag reflex. Those kind of things. Over time, it adds up.

Dining out, though, is small potatoes compared to eating in foreign country. Now, being in Munich, I have to deal with menus I can’t even read. Or worse still are the meals served when >Conny and I visit with family and friends. Not only do I not get to try and pick something I might actually like, but the language barrier prevents discreetly inquiring to the nature of the dish being served. And I simply have to eat what is served, because to do otherwise would be rude, an insult, a demonstration of the cultural ignorance of Americans as a whole.

I really wish I were one of those people who visit unusual places and then proceed to find the most outrageous and exceptional meals, like sauteed beetles in a cognac sauce, or poached squid flambe, or pickled sheep’s eyes. Those kind of people anchor one of the food-bravery spectrum. I, on the other hand, feel someone should hold down the other end of the curve. And hey, I really do like cold cereal.

But here in Munich, with Conny View definition in a new window, there’s no time for cowardice. I eat what is put in front of me, and ask for seconds. If I ask what we are having, I wait until after I’ve cleaned my plate. The sheer volume of food I’ve shoved in my gullet in the past two days has thrown my entire digestive system for a loop. Caloric intake must have tripled, especially when I count the calories from beer, wine, presecco and various liqueurs. My alimentary canal is straining under the load.

The good news is all the food is actually good, and it’s no effort at all to eat it. The bad news is I may need to book another seat on the plane for my ever-widening ass.

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