Saturday, June 12, 2021


Years ago, when I still worked for a computer company in Palo Alto - Menlo Park, I got so tired of the bland crap that people in the suburbs eat for lunch that I started packing fresh jalapeños in my coat pocket before setting off each day, as well as bottles of home made hot sauce. When going out with coworkers, or eating from the roach coach, those fresh chilies made the pablum more than edible. Whether it was "Italian food", "Mexican", "Chinese", or grilled hamburgers, didn't matter. Fresh hot chilies. As a bite in between bites.
Kept the body healthy, and promoted the digestive process.
Besides being packed with vitamins.

Half a dozen a day, with food .....

One behalf of that company I travelled to Las Vegas once every year for the West Coast credit meeting. The credit organization had pre-reserved space at a Southwestern themed hotel, the bar-gaming floor of which was surrounded by half a dozen Hispanic sounding dining opportunities. The first time I went there, I hadn't packed chilies or hot sauce.
Because I did not foresee any dining problems.
So optimistically I stepped into the most authentic looking dining opportunity. The middle-aged beehive hairdo waitress asked me "do ya want the chicken or shrimp fa-chee-tas, hon?" .....
After deciding which kind of fajitas, she went away and brough back a tray of dips, gloopy stuffs, condiments, and "salsas". So I asked if, by any chance, there were chilies on the premises. "Ah shorely don't know, hon, I'll go ask the messkins in tha kitchen for you" She came back a few moments later. "Yer good, hon, they just opened a fresh can!"

Well goldarn, it's my lucky day! I feel like I'm at home!

Coworkers often asked me why I didn't decide to move down to Palo Alto. Well, if I did, I'd end up going to the city at every opportunity, especially on weekends. There is no earthly reason to live close to work if one wants to get the hell out of Dodge whenever possible.

Fresh lemons in the yard just aren't enough of a bonus.

I have reason to suspect that outside of major metropolitan areas, real food is still difficult to get. Unless there's a Mexican or Asian shopping district. It's only in recent times that they've discovered real coffee, and real bread. Cheese remains iffy.

And fresh chilies of any kind are still a bit rare.

Canned jalapeños on the other hand .....

Maybe in the exotic foods aisle.

Next to the sardines.

And Kikkoman.

Every time I've been to England (as a four or five day stop on the way to the Continent), I've packed a small pocket jar of hot sauce in my carry-on luggage. Home made, with Habaneros, vinegar, salt, oil. Keeps for months, and a tiny dab added on to the side of a plate is seldom noticed by hotel or restaurant staff. It isn't necessary so much in Holland, as one can always find sambals in the supermarket, as well as good eateries in most towns.

It improves the weather in Europe immeasurably.

In the United States, I rarely (never) travel into the interior.

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