Archive for October, 2011

Travel Is Hell: Food & Eating — Or Not

October 5, 2011

… after many years of being open to new experiences, I’ve come around to the philosophy of not.

Below are some more of  the 119 little inconveniences I’ve experienced as a Road Warrior. This category of The Travel Is Hell (TIH) Series investigates human digestions and the various ramifications thereof:

20. Find out how many calories are in those Starbucks Green Tea Frappes you’ve been rewarding yourself with every business day you’ve been in Tokyo.

21. 0730 Air Force breakfast briefing catered with acrid coffee and popcorn.

22. Squish beautiful, world-class persimmon in backpack (Note: next time, get uncrushable, mealy apple).

23. Arrive Vienna after full day working and traveling on flights too short for meal service. All food shops and restaurants closed ’till Sunday noon.

24. Durian. Any time, anywhere. No.

25. Traditional Korean elegant dining. Nubile, well-dressed, but otherwise completely uninteresting woman sits in lap. Stuffs each spoonful of food into my mouth as if I were 16 months old. (Vroom, vroom! Open hangar; here comes the plane!)

26. Très expensive fancy dinner. Clients demonstrate appreciation of my work. Honor successful vegetarian contractor at restaurant featuring rattlesnake, venison and mutton.

27. Korean BBQ in Darwin, Australia.

28. It’s 11:30 p.m., almost dinnertime in Buenos Aires. Pick one: steak or roast beef. Get up at 6:00 for flight to Bariloche, Patagonia.

29. Eat — or actually, just look at — plate of fish, still wiggling.

30. Yet another lavish dinner in beautiful continental restaurant with wonderful Scandinavian wood furnishings, candlelight, classical live piano, exquisite food, stunning service. Perfect for romantic dinner with girlfriend.  Instead, endured with three chain-smoking, Vodka -inhaling Russian entrepreneurs.

31. Eating light: make dinner out of half-roll of wintergreen Certs and some tiny foil bags of airline pretzels.

32. Four days in Russia surviving on apples and oranges stuffed into suitcase before departing New York. Offend hosts four times per day by refusing vodka at breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert.


Rick Fleeter

author, Travels of a Thermodynamicist

(A Note to Readers: If you’ve had similarly unique and discomfiting travel experiences you’d like to share—and that have helped you toward a Buddhist appreciation of travel as inevitable suffering, from which you have returned a better, wiser person—feel free to share.)