The Picknick

Interracial dating may be complicated, but how about inter cultural?

I can tell you romance and love don’t mix with food when it comes to a Dutch girl and an all American boy. No-one’s to blame. One (the boy) has been brought up to just open the fridge upon hunger signs reaching the brain from the stomach, grab something, anything - and have it over with. The other (the girl) has been told never to open the fridge herself. To wait for set times in the day. Upon which the mother of the family, who has opened the fridge, grabbed selected goods and cooked or prepared them, presents these gifts of the earth in a creative manner. Follows a sit-down part that will take at least 20 minutes (breakfast) to over two hours (a nice family dinner). To my boyfriend this is nothing more than feeding time at the zoo behavior. And he’s no wild animal.

He does really try, I have to give him that. He no longer gets up when I’m one third through my plate to get himself more food. He waits for me to dish it up! And we have second helpings together to bring romance back into our life a little bit. His friends don’t wait when they come over. The first time this happened I asked my boyfriend upon their departure, what on earth he thought they were doing. ‘They were waiting so long I’m sure they thought it’s Dutch custom to go the kitchen and get second helpings yourself. And Mike did bring the pan out to serve all of us’, he added in a defensive voice. ‘Please don’t ever think of saying anything to them about it. That would be so embarrassing.’

Sometimes when we eat in a restaurant I feel there must be a contest going on that I don’t know about. Get out as quick as you can. But the sad thing is there’s not. No free dinners to win. There’s absolutely nothing to gain from that frantic American serving pace. You end up with far too little room on the table - thanks to the fact that the plate, with half your starter, ends up next to your main course. Which was brought out after it had already substantially cooled of in the kitchen. It had been waiting there so long (whilst you were working on your starter), that the sad wilted veggies had started to cry. And your waiter, who could not deal with their grief, decided he just had to bring them out.

Inter cultural dating, inter cultural friendships, or fine dining for that matter may not always be a pick nick in New York. But I like it here. So….when in Rome, do as the Romans do.

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