Travel blogs are almost always so flowery it’s as if nothing ever goes wrong on a trip. #Unreal. As with most things in life, travel serves up its fair share of bad experiences. You just hardly read about it because well, somehow human nature would rather portray a picture-perfect life, but there are times and days when things go wrong. What matters more than anything else is how we choose to respond. This is one small tale of a meal gone wrong.
On the French Riviera you’re spoilt as far as deciding whether you want to eat in Antibes, Nice, Cannes…and I could go on. Most of these places are a short and easy drive from each other. One Thursday night, the winning dining destination was Cannes. Beautiful night lights, ocean glow, meandering roads; and then a scramble for free parking. Hello Cannes!
When out for a meal, I’m usually tasked to select a restaurant, even though I suck at it. I’m probably the pickiest eater you’ll ever meet. I don’t eat sea food, and there’s lots of it on the riviera. There’s a lot of Italian too but pizza is bready, and that’s a problem because wheat-based foods often give me heartburn. Thankfully there isn’t too much spice in France or that would just add to the complications. Of-course in Thailand, this is always the main consideration. Let’s not even get started with greasy fried foods. In a nutshell, dining anywhere in the world with yours truly can be a nightmare. Blame it on the doctor.
Picking an eatery in France usually involves flipping through several menus displayed on restaurant terraces. Now I’m one of those girls who’s finicky about price so I’d dismiss a place for being too expensive. But the Riviera is generally expensive, so not the most efficient method here. On this occasion, I decided to go “eeny, meeny, miny moe” as we walked along a street with restaurants offering varied cuisine. Though “moe” kept falling on a place which was either closed, or we didn’t agree on for some reason, it proved to be a quick process of elimination.
Ushered into a lovely formal restaurant (which neither of us was dressed for), we took a table far enough from the door to shield ourselves from the chilling cold air filtering in from outside. We had flipped through the display menu, so I knew what I wanted. Except, it was not what I thought it was. Classic case of lost in translation! So, I started over, and settled for French Onion Soup, which I had been avoiding for days. I could not for the life of me imagine what Onion Soup would look or taste like. First spoonful, “rich beefy over-salted taste”. P.S my taste buds were a little frozen from exposure to the night’s temperatures. Second mouthful, “oh my God this is SALTY!”. I honestly don’t know how I managed to not spit it out. I beckoned the waiter who apologised and cleared the bowl. When he returned I didn’t even bother with the menu; I decided to play it safe and asked for the same meal my companion was having; Grilled tuna and mashed potato, with a thick tomato soup.
The waiter offered his sincere apologies on our way out. Delighted at his earnestness, I accepted the apology. The chef must have been having a bad day. We all have those, and I know when I do, I would appreciate if people cut me some slack.
Neither the vacation, nor the night was ruined by this incident. Perfect company, good music, bright lights and the excitement of being in Cannes made up for the salty soup. AND the random dance session in the square. I love dancing, so this was a welcome surprise. Icing on the cake, the backtrack was a Will Smith song!! The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air soundtrack! Way to please a 90’s girl Cannes 😊