I am trying to put together some stories in our About page to share with others who haven’t heard of us that we love our food (probably a little too obsessively to friends) and will go to great lengths to make sure the food (eating out or cooking) is good, whether the efforts are rational or not in hindsight. What’s your craziest/ biggest/ funniest effort to make sure you get something good to eat? Please share your stories!
My somewhat lame story: taking 3 trains and walking 15 minutes just to get a damn taco (and then found out the address was totally wrong via unsecured wifi in the street- the days before cellular data was cheap/ commonplace)
I have a similar story. It was in Chengdu, China in 2008. Whilst browsing the government book store we found a Chengdu food guide which was in Chinese with stamp sized pictures of the food. The partner and I decided to check out the food just from photos and one of the places we chose apparently had good “dan dan mian”.
Jumped in the taxi, showed the driver the page with name and address. He took us to the area but couldn’t find the damn place. He walked round and round the neighbourhood with us asking people on the street showing them the restaurant’s name and address. Then on a side street we saw a group of people waiting round and we approached them. Turned out there were more like hundreds of Chinese waiting to be picked up by busses to take them somewhere. The taxi driver showed them the page and the address and suddenly they all gathered round trying to decipher it for us. It was a hilarious sight, wish I had taken a photo but we were all surrounded by a couple hundred people yelling over each other. Then one youngish woman said she knew where it was (we guessed from her gesture). She motioned to us to follow and we did. Turned out it was nearby. We invited her (by guesturing) to have a bowl of dan dan mien with us but she had to go back to her group. When she entered the noodle shop with us she immediately told the boss we wanted to eat dan dan mien and it was understood.
I enjoyed my travels in China so much! There are opportunists and there are kind strangers like the taxi driver and people on the street who want to help (foreigners).
In college, I went out with a Persian guy and sometimes members of his extended family would visit from Iran. There was much exchanging-of-gifts involved in these visits. So, on one occasion, an uncle came to America to meet his American-born family and brought cans of Iranian caviar as gifts. My boyfriend received two cans.
When we got back to my boyfriend’s place, I made the little chopped egg, blini, sour cream, etc. plate and then we opened the can. After one bite each of caviar off a little pearl spoon, we shoved that plate aside and ate straight from the can, until queasy.
The crazy/funny part of this story is that, with the hopefulness of youth, I stayed with this guy about a year too long, thinking that maybe, just maybe, one day another gift of caviar would magically appear.
My son was working in London in a Michelin 2 star. Long crazy hours with very little time off. He called us one day as happy as could be. He’d taken two trains and a long walk from the station to find the nearest Taco Bell (or belch as they used to call it when young) then in the U.K. When I asked him how it tasted, he just laughed and said ‘it tastes like home’.
I’ve experienced the same in London, UK, NYC, Chicago, St Mary’s ONT, Weisbaden, Germany. Just a nice blessing.
When i was 17 we moved to Barcelona, and after a few months we were all very homesick. Somehow we found out that somewhere outside the city was a Kentucky Fried Chicken. My mom and I took a train - something like an hour ride or more - to find it. We did, and brought it back to my waiting dad and sister. We tore into that chicken - even though it wasn’t quite the same, it was a little bit of home.
Little did i know how much i would come to wish I’d spent more time appreciating Barcelona rather than moping about the US, but it’s different when you’re in high school and have left all your friends…
Paris, 1976. I was a student, and we occasionally shopped at a kind-of-expensive American products store, usually for bricks of Breyer’s ice cream. One day, the store said they couldn’t sell it anymore because of some new regulations. Quickly, we rounded up as many people as we could and bought about five of those bricks. I think 20 of us were crowded into my tiny ninth-floor garret. We couldn’t finish it all, and there was no freezer, so I took the leftovers down to my landlord on the fifth floor, telling him that we’d been celebrating an important holiday–La Fete de la Derniere Glace Americane a Paris (Last American Ice Cream in Paris Day).