Whatyamacallit for Dinner

Whatyamacallit coffee
Whatyamacallit coffee

Hubby and me were presented with a white elephant. Not the big beast literally but a white elephant gift nonetheless. It was a gift coupon for a fancy degustation menu dinner in town. So we put aside our rubber boots and pitchforks, had a bath (though it was not yet Sunday aka Bath-Day), dressed up in our good church clothes and off we went.

As suspected, the restaurant proved above our usual social and economic standards, and I came totally unprepared. At a table for two, there were more pieces of cutlery and more glasses and plates laid out than in my entire cupboard collection. I was wondering if itโ€™s worse to use the wrong fork and knife or to google stealthily on my phone which fork and knife you start from. (Now I know you start from the outside and I got it wrong. Of course.)

A waitress in an evening-gown-uniform inquired if we desired wine. I couldnโ€™t figure out how to ask discreetly if it was or wasnโ€™t covered by the gift coupon, so I remained silent. Hubby ventured an affirmative answer, on which the waitress offered a list of foreign-sounding brands. Hurrying to help my monolingual hubby out, I asked tentatively if they had perhaps something local. She regretted that they didnโ€™t, and she surely thought we were Amish. Hubby chose the last option on the wine list by repeating the last cluster of sounds the waitress pronounced.

The wine was brought by a waiter in a tuxedo-uniform. He was probably sent by his female co-worker to get a share in the humorous spectacle of villagers in the city. The waiter inquired if we wished a vegetarian or a regular menu. Hubby was being humorous (or so he thought) and asked playfully if he looked like a vegetarian, patting lovingly his bulging belly. The waiter blushed, said nothing and started to bring in bizarrely tiny portions of fancifully arranged meals. Before serving each, he named it, and I understood none of it because I donโ€™t speak Gourmetese.

The last course was a dessert brought in cups so incredibly small that I was doubting if it was worth the bother at all. When the waiter was out of earshot, I dryly observed that I drink vodka from a cup larger than this. A couple at a neighbouring table looked in my direction, mildly amused. The waiter returned to ask if we wanted coffee. I wanted coffee very much but I had all reasons to believe that I would have to order five to ten cups to satisfy my need. I said I didnโ€™t want any. So we drove home, where I got my usual half-litre mug of coffee and hubby a buttered toast.


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Mara Eastern

I'm a sardonic blogger, snapper, scribbler and rhymer; a virtual space invader who indulges in cheerful negativism, morbid self-deprecation and bleak humour.

28 thoughts on “Whatyamacallit for Dinner”

  1. On one hand it is very amusing,as the minimalism of dishes is the main problem people not used to gastronomy often moan about and on the other hand,I find it kind of sad.

    From what I read I gather that you’re not the richest of persons.I am very very far from being rich myself,but I feel sorry that you were under the impression that you and your husband were being mocked.The ‘wine’ part particularly touched me.I hope one day you and your husband will have enough funds so as not to see money as a barrier between you and the things you enjoy. ๐Ÿ™‚


    1. Thank you for your insightful comment, Kainzow! I’m sorry to hear that the post bothered you a bit – it was meant to be thoroughly for fun, no underlying message was intended ๐Ÿ™‚ The dinner felt awkward because we clearly didn’t belong, but we (husband + me) are fortunate enough to have all the means necessary to cover the basics needs and perhaps a bit extra here and there, so I’m not complaining at all. I’ll try to be more funny and less serious when writing the next column ๐Ÿ˜‰


        1. You’re not a killjoy and I do appreciate your feedback. It is extremely valuable to see how what I say is perceived by others in general and by you in particular. What? Delete your comment?? Well, thanks, but I’d rather keep it if I may ๐Ÿ˜‰


  2. My dearest Mara, you do make me llaugh oh my what brilliant irony you use in your writings, the waitress in an evening dress and referring to yourself as the villagers, LoL I could read that over and over. But it doe beggar a question, are you going to behave at our wedding meal? looks at you! No toast allowed!!!


    1. Ah, thank you so much for liking my column! You know well that it’s based on an actual incident ๐Ÿ™‚

      Why, yes, we are villagers because we live in a tiny village – not the kind of villagers with rubber boots and pitchforks, actually; we’re more the kind with laptops and smartphones, but if required, I can produce any kind of ancient farming and gardening implements and other things typical of village life. Our grandparents are still actively using these.

      Hm, the wedding meal makes me seriously concerned, I must improve my table manners and learn at least to use the right knife and fork. But no toast? Boo… It’s my favourite meal! Is vodka allowed at least?


          1. Oh, sweet forgiveness! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Sleep over it (I mean the header), it’s a hard choice. I’m still unhappy with my header after more than half a year of blogging. These things take time!


          2. Aaww, thanks! It’s a header number 50 or so, but you wouldn’t notice because all my headers look almost the same. And none of them the way I want it! Must keep on trying ๐Ÿ™‚


  3. Still laughing!
    #1. You made the right choice, googling would have been more gauche, picking the wrong implement could just mean you’re absent minded.
    #2. Excellent that your hubby actually remembered the last cluster of syllables pronounced! He’s a keeper.
    #3. BTW, did you get charged for the wine? (it would have been a constant worry for me all through dinner!)
    #4. I thought you were bilingual, what no Gourmetese?
    #5. Your coffee comments cracked me up. You know, you might have missed out, it could have been to die for! (but then you’d have to worry if they would charge you for the 5 more cups you’d order.)
    #6. I too can raise my eyebrow and tilt my head… my hubby finds it ‘cute’, little does he know I’m really plotting.
    #7. It’s your wedding, I say you have whatever you want! ๐Ÿ˜‰


    1. Oh wow, what an elaborate and beautiful comment! Why, thank you for sharing your thoughts! First of all, I’m extremely happy if I entertained you at least a bit. It’s my pleasure ๐Ÿ˜€

      Now: my hubby knows no foreign language but he can emulate the accent of any. His French accent is quite passable. He’s a pretender like this. We were not charged for the wine after all, much to my relief. The bill was only for the tea which hubby ordered for himself, and surprisingly he got a whole tea pot(!). It was a very strange contrast to the miniature meals. The tea was reportedly very good (it’d better be, for the price), but I doubt that their coffee was much better than mine – I indulge in strong black stuff and I grind coffee grains fresh every few days, so I guess I’m having a reasonably good quality coffee at home. And it’s cheap…

      Ok, you guys, I don’t know how you do it that you can raise a single eyebrow, but you know what I can do? I can crinkle my nose so that its tip strongly points to one side. My husband alerted me to this condition of mine (he asked quite insensitively if I’m having a stroke, black humour) and he proved unable to imitate this feat. I like to think that this is a unique skill I have.


  4. LOL Firebonnet what a great comment…..I am glad you too can raise your brow and tilt your head, men read us the wrong way often dont they? hehe

    Now, mara that is quite an interesting and unusual thing you can do, does it affect your olfactory skills too? grins


    1. Hihi, no, my special skill doesn’t affect my smell. My nose is extraordinary, though, because besides me being able to bend it like that, I can forecast weather based on how much the scar on my nose itches. The scar is not too visible, nonetheless it’s a deep cut where my late cat slashed me with her paw. She wasn’t being mean, she was just scared that I might drop her (which I did right after she cut me). I don’t hold it against her, and she was run over by a car not long after this incident. Poor thing.


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