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Out with the Europeans

Posted on 2005/11/06 06:26:49 (November 2005).

[Thursday 3rd November]
A rule seems to be developing during my trip to Seattle - if I have a good day at the office, I have a comparatively crap evening, and vice verse. So unlike the day before, today was quite frustrating and irritating in the daytime, but the evening was actually quite nice.

Went out for dinner with two people from our counterpart team in Europe - one guy was French and the other was German. One of my team from Japan came along too, but the rest opted for a quiet night in instead. We went to a slightly more upmarket place than seems to have become the norm over the last few days. They apparently have 160 different beers - although I only tried two - something like a fat tyre and a Red Elk, or something like that. Still, both were very passable. The food menu was quite varied too, I guess you would call it modern American, with some Asian influences. I had a "goats cheese volcano" to start with, and some kind of noodle dish for my main course.

The conversation was the main highlight though, my three dining companions spoke embarassingly good English, and so we were able to range freely over a number of interesting topics, only a very small percentage of which were work realted.

I sat back at one point to breathe in the situation, and remember thinking how it was quite great - I was sitting in a restaurant in America, at a table with three other people all from different countries to me - a Frenchman, a German, a Japanese man and if you include me an Englishman. It almost sounds like the pretext for a bad joke doesn't it? I was sitting in a strange restaurant, in a strange town and country, with three people I hardly knew - two I had only met that day, the other I had known just over a week. Yet somehow I didn't feel homesick or isolated like I normally would in that sort of situation, I felt oddly relaxed and at ease.

Comment 1

Now you can understand what I felt when I was living in Japan and in England most of the time!!
It's great to be able to have such experiences, I'd never exchange those moments for all the gold in the world...
Did you speak about football? Women? Beer? Be more specific!

Posted by Lox at 2005/11/06 06:35:38.

Comment 2

Actually I don't remember what we talked about so well now!

Mainly food and drink I think...

I do recall that we discussed whether cooking is closer to a science or an art (clearly it takes something from both). I suggested that perhaps French cooking, which is very technical, is more on the scientific side, whereas Italian cooking, which is often less technical but more passionate, is more on the art side. This didn't meet with complete agreement from the French guy of course!

It was a conversation I am sure you could have enjoyed joining in on Lorenzo! Although having said that it may have then devolved into a straightforward fight - French food vs Italian food. As we also had a Japanese guest at the table it could have gone three ways! Clearly myself and my new German friend would have kept quiet throughout this though.

Posted by John at 2005/11/06 07:59:04.

Comment 3

Oh well you know that there is no dispute on which is better.... DO YOU!?!?! :)

I am kidding of course, the only way forward is the " 'fusion " cusine!

Posted by Lox at 2005/11/06 11:11:03.

Comment 4

I'm not sure I like fusion food to be honest. Part of the reason I like foreign food is that it makes me feel (in a small way) I am being taken to that country momentarily. So I like to go "the whole nine yards" whenever possible, and have an appropriate drink to go with it, even different kind of cutlery and crockery.

Fusion food, on the other hand, is like being stuck in an airport to me. It's all mixed up and you're not really going anywhere.

Posted by John at 2005/11/07 02:25:07.

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