eating out

View The Story About Ping product details at AmazonValentina, Steve, and kids washed up on our beach today, fresh from the cultural delights of Sunday yum cha. Their youngest is four. He probably has popped in and out of restaurants since the age of – well – conception…

They mentioned another member of their party didn’t eat anything – not holding with that foreign fare. I noted that we were brought up thinking exotic food was good, and strangely I remembered (I think) the first meal out I’d ever had was in a Chinese restaurant in Wanganui. I was about 5 or 6 years old. Eating out in New Zealand, specifically in Wanganui, back in those days, eating lunch out on a weekend would’ve been restricted to a fairly limited range of choices I would’ve thought – chinese, fish and chips, perhaps hotel fare if you were sufficiently la-te-dah. I’m not sure if the restaurant is still there, but I can remember both the restaurant and the meal clearly – my sister Carol and her man took me – how and why I was with them I cannot imagine. I’d read/been read the Story of Ping at school – a story set in China, and so, I ordered and had a duck (stir fry, I guess) and Carol ordered me a glass of milk. An unusual combination, even then, I believe. I was excited to eat duck, it seemed good to be inspired by the story, and very exotic.

It’s strange how I can remember the luncheon I ordered all those years ago, but missed I and the Bird #46. Perhaps it’s because a few hours later the oilyness of the meal (perhaps in combination with the milk) found me downloading the meal – urgh – I was one of those kids who wasn’t too good with overly rich, fatty, or oily food. Never-the-less, the love affair with things of a Chinese nature (particularly the food) was started and continues to this day…

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