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Quick way to travel and slow way to food

Airplane

“I'm in the same traffic as everybody else. I'm in the same airplane delay as everybody else. I sit in the same coach seat as everybody else.”- Bill Gates

Northeast States

October 18, 2003

I do my best thinking in the morning. Early morning as I took off for this trip, I wondered how it might go. I contemplated exploring my genealogy, visiting family, wondering at the variety of people I might meet, if I could just get up the nerve to talk to them. I wondered what tourist, historical, educational and other sights I might see. I was flying from San Diego to New York City. New York City is a whole new world to this person who has lived around the Pacific Ocean all his life, in places such as Seattle, Honolulu, and now San Diego. As far as I'm concerned, New York City might as well be another country.

As I waited in the boarding area pondering all this, I found myself wondering at the variety of people around me. After all, I am a people watcher. For example, there was a man wearing an orange robe and simple ski cap and carrying a simple cloth bag the color of his robe, as if he were a Buddhist monk on a pilgrimage to somewhere. There was also a very pregnant family of four. The skinny pregnant mom somehow caught my attention. For some reason it brought to mind the TV show, "Married with Children" crossed with a TV western, as the family seemed more dressed and suited for working on a farm out west rather than a trip to New York. A young, beautiful but modest appearing lady caught my attention. I wondered if she was flying to New York with hopes of becoming a model. Such were my thoughts as I boarded the plane. I wondered what each one of these people would be doing once they got to the big city of New York. As I boarded the airplane and sat down, the guy next to me said "hello" and I said "hello" back, but I did not say much else throughout the flight due to my quiet, easygoing but shy nature. At the end of the flight, this guy struck up a conversation with the couple behind us. They had spent a week in Las Vegas. He himself was visiting from Hawaii on business. We actually had something in common, I thought to myself, as I had lived in Hawaii for 10 years. It made me a little homesick thinking about it. One shouldn't be shy about striking up a conversation with the person next to you. After all, we all have something in common due to our human nature.


Coffee

"I am not a glutton - I am an explorer of food." - Erma Bombeck

Seafood

Our human nature dictates that we need to eat, eat food, that is. There is no way around it, and that includes when we travel. As I travel, I contemplate what I might eat. When I was a kid, road trips would include trips to the store for such things as bread, lunch meat, soda and fruit, but it was difficult to keep perishable foods cold in the car. Today, I could buy snacks at the grocery or discount store and eat those to save time and money on the road, but my human stomach desires a little more than that. My airline offered a meal on this non-stop cross country flight, but once on the ground I would still need to eat. On the road, one could eat at well known fast food places like McDonald's or Burger King, or diner type restaurants such as International House of Pancakes or Denny’s, or a small town diner, all which can offer great tasting, edible food prepared in unique ways, fast and slow, sometimes low cost, sometimes higher cost, all usually costing more than if you were to prepare those foods yourself. And in New York City, food is about as expensive as it can be. Fortunately, most of this trip would not be in New York City, although I did want a taste of it.

Clip Art No Fast Food

On today's flight, an article in the in-flight magazine about "slow food" caught my attention. "Slow food" is the opposite of "fast food". "Fast Food" is prepared inexpensively and quickly, but tends to be not so good for you. "Slow Food" can take more time to cook and may cost more, but it is better for you. "Slow Food" has been described as food that is unique to the part of the country or the world where it is prepared and it is made with ingredients from that region. This gave me a lot of food for thought as I contemplated what I might eat during this trip and future trips. I do enjoy eating a wide variety of food and appreciate eating what the locals eat, whether it is some small town anywhere in this country, or some city around the world. "Slow Food" can cost more, but if you shop around, you can purchase "slow food" for about the price of "fast food", particularly if you are driving through small town America. To me, food at a place like McDonald's has a mixture of qualities, including ordinary, greasy, good taste, fast, convenient, etc. But often I want something different. At times I do like to take the time to find a good, low cost place to eat. When traveling, this is not so easy, as there is not always time to shop around, and even when you do, the quality of the food can be hit and miss. So to me an exploration of the country also involves an exploration of food. I hope to share what I learn about good places to eat as I travel the country.



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