Friday, March 21, 2008

Water in Bags, Gloves on Hands

Water in a Bag

Some of the stuff we don't have back at home doesn't really surprise me too much - like the fruit stands and street vendors. Some stuff though, I never would have thought of, like all the things they sell in bags - water, milk, jam, ketchup, mayo, soda. Sometimes it's like - "I'll have a liter of soda/juice in a big plastic bag please!" and they fill up a bag like you'd use at the grocery store for veggies or bulk items, tie a knot in the top and there you go, empty it into a pitcher when you get home!

And then last night, we went to quite possibly the best restaurant EVER. Well, best in terms of my amusement value. We were driving home from visiting some friends of the family and G's mom asked me what I wanted to eat for dinner. I said, as I do at home quite often when asked the same question, "food". She laughed and started listing off different options. I jumped on "potatoes" because they were something I hadn't had in a while, and she said something about "oh wait, darn, we don't have (something something)" and I said, "french fries?" (something I hadn't had since I've been here) and at that moment we were driving by a little fast food chicken place called something like Pikoriko.

G's mom dashed into the grocery store across the street while his dad and nephew VM and I went in. It was very similar to a McD's or any other fast food place, plastic seating, tile floors, white walls with huge pictures of menu items, and a little net covered play place for kids with a bunch of climbing tubes and a ball pit. VM immediately started playing on the play thing, and we sat down and a girl came and brought us menus, which was so weird to me in a fast food place. And then my Father in Law asks what they have that's vegetarian and the girl is like, uhhh, nothing? (Which doesn't surprise me) But we find the french fries and order some of those. It seems like maybe they fry each batch to order, because it takes a while, and they come on a REAL ceramic plate with the little chicken logo, not paper!

Then G's mom comes and they order their chicken and some plantain thing for me, and some juice for me and soda for them. VM, busy "dunking" the plastic balls in the basketball hoop in the playplace says he doesn't want anything. Then the chicken comes and the girl says they don't have any of the plantain things, so they order me another plate of fries, and VM comes and starts eating mine and so they order ANOTHER plate of fries and I have some of his when they come. (Also F-I-L steals some of the fries from the first plate, which I wouldn't mind except it's my ENTIRE DINNER but luckily with the 3 plates, I had plenty so I needn't have worried.)

But anyway when they girl brings out the chicken, it comes with PLASTIC GLOVES that they put on to eat it! (like the kind I'm used to seeing food service people use to make your food) And that cracked me up SO HARD. I only laughed a little on the outside and I told them I'd never seen anything like it but I was silently lauging inside for like 10 minutes at least, every time I saw the ceramic plates and the plastic gloves. Now honestly, as a vegetarian, this could be something that they do all the time in the states and I just don't know, but I DID ask at least one non-veg friend and she said that whenever she goes out for messy chicken they just bring out a bucket of napkins. I guess it's a bit more more efficient in a way, one pair of gloves vs. tons of napkins? But it looks darn silly. :-D

And they do seem to use paper napkins a lot for other things - like to hold their sandwiches or pizza or little fried things. Sort of preventative to getting your hands dirty? I'm used to getting the hands dirty and then using the napkin AFTER to clean them, and having the napkin wrapped around whatever I'm trying to eat seems like an invitation to a mouthful of paper. But maybe that's just cuz I haven't learned how to maneuver it properly.

Going to the beach again today! Although I'm a wee bit confused because I thought they said we were leaving around 8:30 or 9, but it's 9 right now and G's mom just got up and is cooking something, possibly breakfast, possibly my lunch. Everyone else gets fish on the beach, but after my bad experience with probably the beach salad the last time I came here, that doesn't leave me with much to eat, so when we went out on Wednesday she made me pasta and fried up some deditos. (Deditos = "little fingers" =mini croissant type things with cheese inside). I probably woke up around 7:30 and didn't hear anyone out and about so I stayed in bed until I started freaking out because I don't have a clock in my room, and a little after 8 I got up and checked some emails, accepted a few new MySpace friends and started this blog at about 8:30.

Anyway, my beach bag is mostly still packed from Wednesday, so I don't have much to do, but I think I will go take a quick shower so my skin starts off clean before all the sunscreen I'm going to be slathering on it...


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