If not now, when?

One American woman. Twenty acres and a 1650 farmhouse in Tuscany. Random introspection and hilarity, depending on the day.

23 March 2006

The elusive 'basic'

Sigh.

Too long on the road.

Nine weeks.

Too many hotels. Unfamiliar pillows. Rooms too close to ice machines and elevators. Fear of bedbugs. Skanky carpets. The guy in the next room with the hacking cough. Sketchy wireless internet connections, dropping in and out.

Too many overly solicitous bartenders, fellow travelers, servers. Too little genuine. Too few authentic people, authentic experiences. (See Seth's riff on this, totally worthy.)

Too many fancy meals. Rich sauces. Stuff you can't pronounce. Overcooked everything, no matter what you ask for. People chewing with their mouths open at the next table.

Tonight, in a rare moment of peace, I had dinner by myself.

And ALL I WANTED was a PLAIN chicken breast, PLAIN rice, and PLAIN steamed spinach (all items on the menu. I am, admittedly, famous among my friends for considering the menu a list of ingredients available in the kitchen ... and I really, TRULY, do not mind at all waiting if it takes longer to do the special order that I want.)

It was no-go on two of the three. While all of these three were on the menu somewhere, they were 'mixed' with other things already back in the kitchen. The server got me "close": when the yellow rice/pea/carrot/corn mixture and the spinach and onion sautee arrived, I had to bite my lip to stop myself from bursting into tears. How HARD is it?!?!?! I just ... wanted... something... simple.

CONCLUSION 1: Our society has, sadly, pre-prepared itself to death.
CONCLUSION 2: At least the first half is true: you can't always get what you want.
CONCLUSION 3: People really don't listen.

Even when I speak the language fluently, there ARE circumstances in which it is still not possible to be understood.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Laurie said...

Viagg....where ARE you? I am coming to NY on April 2....will you be anywhere near there?

9:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

from the last two posts, i'd say it's time to go home.
tcb

3:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your restaurant story reminds me of a time I tried to order shrimp kabobs and was told "we are out of them." Yet otherwise on the menu was grilled shrimp, rice and the requisit assorted veggies. I guess they were out of skewers.

Hang in there, you sound beaten up.

Daisy Boy

11:10 PM  
Blogger Viaggiatore said...

Laurie: back now, finally, in bella toscana ... sounds like we're living opposite travel lives! Safe journeys to NY, and we'll reconnect when you're back here.

TCB & DaisyBoy: you're right. I was beaten up, and it was definitely time to go home. thanks for the good vibes!

xo, V.

7:17 PM  

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