Posted by: Chief NavyTim | August 1, 2008

Dinner out in the Town

A group of us went out to dinner last night. Part of a ‘hail and farewell’ to those that are coming and those that are going. Most units in the Navy do this sort of ‘tradition’. It is the first since I arrived in June. What, my arrival wasn’t an event? Joking, but I think it is something every Division, Work Center, etc. should do on a regular basis.

I thought it was just my group, but turns out this ended up being organized by the exiting LPO. Given that, he invited a number of other people from other Units as well. We had a total of 18 by the time the head count was completed. It was nice, as having this amount of people let us rent a bus. We also had reservations at a restaurant known for it’s Ethiopian Style, or Fondue Style servings.

I had heard Ethiopian food was good and was anxious to try it. What I was not aware was how it was served. The ‘traditional’ style is that someone feeds you. With their hand. To your mouth. See where this is going ? Sorry, I may be hungry for something other than the galley, but the thought of someone stuffing my face with their hands,… I’m good thanks. Pass the fondue fork please.

Now, seating 18 is a challenge. The restaurant had advanced notice we were coming, however, could not fully prepare without knowing who was having which option, if there were cheese fondue’s as well, what time we finally made it there (delays, etc); items that needed to be known before the began. Given that, it takes some time before we are seated. The place had a ‘waiting area’ / lounge off to the side where we were all able to comfortably sit and relax while they prepared the food. Big chairs with pillows. Certainly better than standing.

Now, to back up for a minute. As we were about to get off the bus, the ‘organizer’ mentioned he failed to complete the paperwork in time, thus no alcohol with the meal was authorized. Base policy. Oh well. Of course, this would have been nice to know before you got on the bus ! Seriously, no big deal. It’s not like they have Sam Adams, or a martini was an option (no hard liquor ever).

On second thought – now way does he get off this easy! He had been planning this for two weeks. He said he was ‘too late’ submitting the paperwork? Hey Bags – I could see you saying “I forgot to pick up this kids at daycare’, or ‘I didn’t get you anything for Christmas, I didn’t know when it was”, but you forgot to do the paperwork for your party you put together and organized ? Wow. But, no need to mention it here on iLife During Duty, wouldn’t want anyone reading this to give you a hard time about it – so no worries from NavyTim.

However, as the staff was preparing the food, and this is after they took the 18 orders, 3 people got up and left from our group. They were pissed there was no drinking allowed, so they decided to go eat somewhere else. Yes, left. Told one person and split. Now, I may not be Miss Manners (or Mr. Manners, etc), but can you say rude? I was not the only person with their mouth option from shock. Oh well…

Food ended up being quite enjoyable. Steak tips for the fondue, and bread for the cheese fondue. I think we put the steak in boiling oil. At least that is what it felt like when your hand got near the splattering. Best part about tonight – nothing tasted like rice…

NOTE: Interesting tourist item from tonight: They come around with a big pitcher of water and a handheld sink, both made of silver. Pour the water over your hands, then you get to ‘rinse’ to be clean before dinner. Very nice. Unless you are at the end of 15 people. See, they only have one towel to dry your hands. The challenge after person #6 is to find the dry spot. John was at the end, and his “smile’ is not from finding the dry spot…

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