Tuesday, September 21, 2010
I had led a sheltered life. Honestly. Even for kids raised in small town America in the 1960’s, I was still pretty naïve. I was probably in 8th grade the first time I went to Pizza Hut. And I remember the first time we baked a frozen pizza at home.
I hated Mexican food the first time I had it. But learned to love it after a few attempts. The first time I went to a Chinese restaurant, when I was a sophomore in college, I ordered something American. When my friend’s food came, I tried it. And then ate it on her and left my cheeseburger sit.
When we were in Alaska, right after my twentieth birthday, other than cafeteria food at the dorm and the incidences above, I had only had home cooking at my home or someone else’s. In Juneau, however, Mary took us out to lunch almost every day, to one cute café or another.
At one such café, overlooking the bay covered in shards of ice, I thought the French Dip seemed exotic or at least foreign. Based solely on the name. I had never heard of it before, but the simple description on the menu was mouthwatering. I took a chance on it.
The waitress brought three cups, identical tea cups for my Aunt Helen and cousin Mary, one of a different color for me. I looked at it.
“Excuse me. I didn’t order tea.”
The waitress looked at me incredulously. “That’s not tea. That’s the French Dip for your sandwich.”
As I write this, all these years later, I still feel that heaviness in my abdomen, that “how could I be so incredibly stupid” feeling. Of course, the worst part is that I probably haven’t learned that much since then. Coz those kinds of foo-paws still occur fairly regularly.
Here I am eating some kind of relleno in
a restaurant in Lima, Peru. You can
only imagine the faux pas I committed there!