When in Rome, Do as the Australians Do? Or is it the South Africans?

She and her dad left early for New York and a day of putting the City House back the way she had found it: white walls, empty rooms, and broom-clean floors. I left for a pre-work run, training for a 20K race next weekend. None of us had quite the day we expected. 

They couldn’t find parking. They needed more paint. The air conditioner wouldn’t come off its mounting. The landlord didn’t show up to collect the keys. There was a 75-minute wait to return equipment to the cable company.  One thing after another.

The complications of my day were fewer: I just got stung by a bee. On the roof of my mouth.  I mean, really. Who gets stung on the roof of the mouth? Pained but with no other symptoms, I made an appointment to see the doctor, finished my run, and went to the office. My doctor, a fellow runner, said I’d done the right thing; he prescribed ibuprofen, ice cubes, and a Benadryl at bedtime.

By the end of the day, nobody felt like cooking.  She likes the barbecue place not far from home, so I passed around the laptop–the 21st century version of a binder full of menus.  Her dad and I chose the pulled pork.  “Can I do something completely not authentic?” she asked. Reminded that she is an adult and fully capable of making her own choices, she opted for the penne pasta with vodka sauce and grilled chicken.  And a cheese quesadilla.

The girl ordered Italian and Mexican food.  From the barbecue place.

The hostess was terribly sorry that she couldn’t deliver the collard greens I’d hoped for as a side dish.  I was only sorry I couldn’t place her accent.  Australian?  South African? Second-year theatre student practicing her dialect-class homework?

The pulled pork was smoky and citrusy. The cornbread was moist and full of actual corn. The cole slaw wasn’t as good as the Colonel’s (or even the reverse-engineered version I make when there’s time), but it was fine. And, apparently, the penne and quesadilla were good, too. I’d ask, but she’s asleep on the couch.

One response to “When in Rome, Do as the Australians Do? Or is it the South Africans?

  1. Pingback: 180 | Dinner at the Country House

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