A note on hypocrisy: fear not, dear reader, my own Olympian levels are not lost on me. Too true that I flee the skin color I bear (and occasionally bare); I scorn the traveler I am; were I to see my mythic double-going me saunter up to a food stall, I would shake my head, sad that I hadn’t walked far enough, and trudge on in search of more decay. Anthropology, gastronomic or otherwise, is a privilege, but more so is the ability to deceive yourself that you’ve outpaced your own identity, sloughed one skin and slid into a new, perhaps less white, less rich, less coddled. But don’t worry; I fool myself as little as I fool you.Day 4, dinner
That said, I make exceptions for the white and sweet (the chaps, angel food cake, sarah…). So they come by, convinced now of my truffle-finding snout and the wisdom of following it (though my gait has proven to be a significant problem). It’s their last night, so I take them for crab claws
I saw in secret
We then retired to the cheaper, shittier, whiter, closer, but also, as long as they’re my company, more fun bia hoi bar on my block, where their abilities as English provincial drinkers are finally put on display.
I sleep soundly.
Day 5: Morning
For the first time, there isn’t one. I awake at 6 briefly, then sleep again till 10. Finally. Sleep, in the Bard’s words, “knits the raveled sleeve of care…” Indeed.
Day 5: Lunch
Final outing with the gents, we go to take the strolls Genevieve’s brother recommended and to eat another block, on his suggestion. When we get to the latter, it’s fancy and quiet, almost soporific at this point not being almost-mown by motorbike at every step, and at first we fear mistake, as there are no food stalls to speak of.
. A grill restaurant (not so good for Mick), then nothing till we come across the motherlode: a big spread with outdoor seating and thirty-odd dishes to choose from (it took me three pics to get it all)
I order us each a different fish dish so we can all share and taste everything. The winner, as is often the case, was the giant sardines. Oil might as well share a named with spoon; it is the flavor ladle, as we know, but occasionally that’s lost on me (though not on my brother, who has been bringing home rendered duck fat to cook all his meals in. Donations to Hillary’s purple heart fund can be sent directly to me…).
Interestingly, this meal costs about three times what the others have, but no real surprise. And it is pretty much the best thing yet; they’re both blown away, and since they’re leaving in a few hours, a happy guide am I.