SINGLE MALE, DINING WELL
Some of the people around me were not enjoying their food, and largely in consequence I thoroughly enjoyed mine.
No, not because I'm a sadist. It was because of the contrast.
I have no clue how most Americans ever dine with their nearest and dearest.
Why do people decide to start trouble at the table? What is it that drives them to make a shared meal a miserable experience for the other folks sitting down with them?
And why on earth do it in a restaurant?
A couple next to me, who appeared to be in a relationship of at least several months standing.
He didn't like the food (she had ordered), and in consequence he talked.
Rehashing matters that should have been dropped long ago.
Eventually the woman asked the waitress for four boxes, so that the uneaten food could be taken home.
Adding insult to injury, the clod she was with let her pay.
Parents and their three children. Two of the children were crying, the third child spent most of the time gloating. My sympathy is with the two younger ones, and with no one else at that table. The only attention the parents gave the two unhappy children was to order them to eat more in a tone of voice that said "we paid for this and you little brats had better appreciate it".
Flavoured with a hint of "just WAIT until we get home".
The oldest had cleaned his plate, and was probably looking forward to the prospect of seeing his siblings verbally abused back at the ranch. He'll probably grow up to excel in sports.
Some people should not dine out. Not if they're going to order too much, and force children to eat stuff they don't like.
An elderly couple talking about their kinfolk. Not WITH each other, but AT each other. They took delight in recounting tales of relative horror, except that they were so good at it that they were both grim and sour by the time they finished their meal.
All in a spirit of rivalry and complaint-competitiveness.
They left most of their food untouched.
It was probably jealousy that ruined their appetite.
You can understand, I hope, why all this made my own meal so much better. Not only was it amusing to be surrounded by so much theatre, but as there was no one at my table whining, wailing, grumbling, or yentaing about everything wrong with the world or with me, I felt like I was enfolded within a halo of warm sunshine.
This bitter melon is positively sweet!
And the fish! Very very fresh! More hot sauce!
Even when I wasn't single, stuff like that never happened.
Whether you're eating alone or with someone else, dinner should be nice.
I really feel sorry for the young lady at the next table with her young man. They had quite an array of dishes in front of them, and it was very clear that she had been looking forward to eating at the restaurant with her friend so that they could try out all the fascinating items on the menu. And it really should have been a wonderful meal. Except that her companion was, it turns out, a dickwad.
Clay pot dishes! and beautiful soups! Sweet little appetizers!
Meaty things on a bed of crispy greens. And tea! Yummy!
How sad that he wasn't capable of getting past his hang-ups.
And how unutterably ungentlemanly of him to let his distaste shine through, and then as a conversational gambit bring up matters which should not be mentioned when someone has a just bit into something scrumptious.
It is such a passive aggressive way to be vengeful and selfish.
More so as it must have turned that marvelous morsel into ashes in her mouth.
She grew quieter as time progressed, chewing slower and slower, and saying less and less.
What should have been a lovely meal clearly became something else.
Had I been her, I would've clopped him a good one upside his head.
Afterwards, of course. One must always act like a lady in public.
THE WORLD IS DINNER THEATRE
I ate very well indeed. Soup, fish & bittermelon with rice, strong hot milk tea.
Followed by a bowlfull of McLelland's no. 24 Matured Virginia Tobacco in a prewar Peterson.
Halfway through my pipe I decided to drop by Yummy Bakery afterwards, so I dawdled on Grant Avenue for a while to finish smoking.
Salted egg puffs, preserved egg turnovers, wife cakes, polobau with a cream custard filling, and a yiuksongbau. Plus one or two other things. No, not all for me.
I just had a salted egg puff and a wife cake before heading to the Occidental last night.
Everything else was for my roommate's breakfast.
I like to treat her on occasion.
It's fun to share food.
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