After Christmas Eve Mass I went out looking for some food. This town does not stay open late. The hotel would still have food at 10:00, but it would be approximately 1500 pesos for the Christmas Eve feast. I have found that two blocks from the hotel, the price of everything drops to about 25% of what it costs at the hotel and mall.
I found a little barbecue restaurant with a truly charming wait staff (one delightful young man was hocking loogies into his hand in front of my table) but the smell and the price was right. I looked over the menu and saw that they offered 100 grams of tuna belly for some 45 pesos, and about the same for 100 grams of squid. Now, I love both tuna belly and squid, and since 100 grams is not that much, barely more than a few good mouthfuls, I ordered one of each, plus an order of “Native Style Barbecue Chicken.”
(Carbs, you say? We don’t need no stinkin’ carbs!)
The waitress gave me a funny look, which you would think might have clued me in, but then again I always get funny looks when I order food in Asia. (I don’t always order food in Asia, but when I do, I get funny looks.)
Well, in due course the food arrived. The first plate was the grilled tuna belly. It was not 100 grams. It was 500 grams. That is about 18 ounces of fish. I was paying for it at the rate of 45 pesos/100 grams, and, while you can’t beat the price, 18 ounces is a fairly respectable amount of fish.
When the squid arrived it was, likewise, a hot plate of 500 grams of squid. I love me some fresh grilled squid as much as the next guy, especially the way the Filipinos serve it, stuffed with pico de gallo or mango salsa, but I was now looking at a full kilo of seafood, and my chicken hadn’t even arrived yet!
Fortunately, while the chicken was an entire upper shoulder and wing skewered on a bamboo skewer, it was from an anorexic chicken. I doubt I got much more than a few ounces of meat off of that.
What is a man to do, in such a plight, but begin at the beginning and going on until he gets to the end of it? Washing it all down with fresh mango juice also helps. (See? I am not totally opposed to carbs!) It was delicious, nutritious and very, very filling.
Yes. This sort of thing happens to me. All the time. You get used to it eventually.