Monday, November 23, 2009

Don't Eat While Travelling

There's a reason that I hate eating when I'm travelling. And surprisingly enough, to me anyway, it has nothing to do with cost.

For the first time in ages, I have money. I have a pocket full of euros, and all too soon they're going to become completely useless. So why not drop them on delightful things like food? Well I'll tell you why! Eating will destroy your day of exploration in no less than two ways. And the thing is – I knew this already! I knew it – and I told myself, no no, it's not true. I've just been so concerned about price. But I was lying to myself. Lying to myself so as I could take a big meaty bite of Buffalo.

When you eat, two things happen. The first is that you have to sit around in a bloody restaurant. Now, I got to sit outside on the patio – and as chilly as it was, this prevented me from losing my mind. I got to watch the two statue people interacting with a group of forty children all with Canadian flags sewn to their backs. This entertained me for about two minutes. That was not enough. But constantly moving around, and wearing chair blankets to try and stay warm also provided some entertainment to the experience.

Let me tell you about how restaurants differ in Canada, than they do at “Ontario: Canadian Steakhouse.” ... I know, I know, alright? But how could I resist? A Canadian restaurant? An Ontario restaurant? I had to know. There was a mountie saluting me on the door! I wonder how many Canadians have actually seen mounties? I once had the pleasure of being woken up in the middle of the night, and being told to stand with my hands in the air, unmoving, as a mountie searched me and my car. He did not like the Buck knife 119 special six inch fixed blade he saw on the seat beside me. Bears. Bears, I told him. Bears. And it was true. And all was well. And then he made sure no one bothered my car so I could get a good sleep for the rest of the night. Mounties – good people.

It's also important that you become aware of the Toronto Salad they had on the menu. What is in a Toronto salad, you may ask? Let over garbage from the strike? Tears of innocent from having nothing but losing sports franchises? Fingers from hipsters who need to learn when to keep their mouths shut? Nope. It was a garden salad with prawns. We love prawns in Toronto, apparently.

I have never eaten, nor seen eaten, a prawn in my life.

It's enough to make you wonder how far off mark all the Mexican restaurants and Texas steak houses are. Do the people from there see them and giggle inside?

So there I was, ordering my meal. And then I waited ten minutes, twenty minutes, thirty minute – and then! Nothing... Finally my meal came. By this time, I had watched the sun, high in the sky, start to lower down to the horizon. I then ate my giant beastial food – which was delicious. And for a time, all was forgiven – until it took twenty minutes to get the bill and pay that – which once again leads to my belief that we should pay our bills before we eat – then you can just get up and book at the end.

Look – if there's a couple and they're deep in conversation, don't rush the bill – but if there's a single guy in the freezing cold, quit smashing glasses, and bring him his bill!

Still – the buffalo? Delicious.

So the sheer amount of time eating takes away frm the already limited daylight is the first strike against the activity. The second? Once you have a belly full of buffalo beef, you are no longer ready to set out with vigor across a strange city. Digestion begins. And you slow. And your mind slows. And next thing you know you're looking around for a streetcar to take you back to the hostel and nap.

Eating – just don't do it! Nothing good comes from it. Wait until the sky is dark, the night is upon you, and then – only then – feast to your hearts content.


  1. Wait, so are you saying you wouldn't be slow and sluggish from being devoid of food energy if you were to starve yourself until the very end of the day? At the very least, I would count on being irritable from hunger.

    So Torontonians have cultivated a reputation for themselves as prawn lovers... good to know.

  2. when i'm low on food i have a surprisingly high amount of energy to hurry along and explore. same with when i'm tired, or when i'm cold. these things keep me going and force the exploration.

  3. Now you are sounding more like your dad. He dooesn't like to eat when he's travelling for the very same reasons. Me - When my blood sugar drops, I get crabby.


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