Tuesday 28 March 2017

Gorging at the buffet is difficult to digest

BOUNTY: We Irish, brought up being told what we like, don't have the discipline for a buffet
BOUNTY: We Irish, brought up being told what we like, don't have the discipline for a buffet
Brendan O'Connor

Brendan O'Connor

I am actually now thinking that they have in some way fixed the scales in the hotel, that they sneakily take them down a few kilos each day so they don't reflect people's true weight gain. I have apparently only put on two kilos since I got here three days ago. But that can't be right. I am expanding at a much faster rate than that.

My problem is two fold. Firstly, I am in Italy and the food is good and, secondly, there is a buffet. In fact, there is a buffet at two-thirds of the meals I am eating. At lunch you pay for what you eat so I tend to practise some restraint and order just the one thing. Not that this helps. Because it tends to be pizza. Which is obviously not normally what I have for lunch. Pizza would normally be some kind of weekend break-out treat. But here it is, the most abstemious of my meals. Here, it is practically a collation, a mere trifle to tide me over between the two major meals of the day. It is also my only single-course meal, though I will augment it by picking at other people's pasta.

You are all familiar with the problem I have here, because it is the curse of the Irishman abroad. We all grew up in large families where you ate what you were given and what you were given was what you ate. Food was divided up between the family according to seniority, with one exception. Mum came last. And the dinner was put on your plate, and that's what you ate. There was none of this nonsense of food being put out in bowls and people helping themselves. Like that was going to work. There would have been war. And war is not a good thing when people have knives and forks.

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