A few days ago, I posted something about Meeting Travel Writers and Bloggers, hosting them for dinners and inventing stories to entertain them.
I have been receiving comments from my other colleagues here about my hosted dinners. They thought, I’m having the best of time while having dinner either by the beach or at the over water restaurant.
I just don’t answer any of the comments for they will never understand how I struggle and let me tell you why.
First of all, no matter how salivating the jumbo prawns are or how good the smell of the lobsters are while the chef grills them a few meters away from our table, I cannot eat as much as I could because I need to talk. A dinner usually takes almost two hours. Imagine how many stories do I have to invent to keep my guests entertained? Man, two bloody hours.
My second struggle – table manners.
Not that I am a cave woman. I can use silverware very well. However, really, I believe that grilled prawns, crabs and lobsters are best eaten with hands. But different people have different beliefs.
Setting aside the seafood greatness, there’s one battle that I had been losing for so long. My battle with the corn on the cob.
I really love corn, specially the sweet one and moreover when its grilled.
The thing is, on every beach BBQ dinner, I have to struggle at the sight of that yellow thing on one side of my plate.
Earlier in life, I was having dinner with a friend in an American diner. My eyes glowed at the sight of a corn on the cob. I ate it. Voraciously. I didn’t care about table manners. It’s corn we are talking about here.
Later that evening, I saw my friend wiping his face with the table napkin. There was an awkward silence.
If you eat corn on the cob, you’ll know what I mean.
From then on, I stopped eating corn, while on the cob. I always ask the chefs to remove the kernels from the cob before serving it to me.
However, lately I didn’t have much of a choice. I had to start dealing with this battle again.
The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting – said Sun Tzu in the Art of War, and this has nothing much to do with my battle with the corn.
I had three barbecue dinners last week and the struggle was real. But I learned my lesson well. I had to.
The first BBQ dinner was with two British guys. We were talking and laughing so hard that I didn’t notice how they ate the corn. I thought of leaving the corn untouched but I can’t help myself so I took small bites. Small enough not to drizzle disgrace. But I wasn’t able to eat all the corn. I was sad. It got wasted.
The second BBQ dinner was with a group of British girls and guys. I was sitting next to a very pretty blonde lady and this time, I was really on guard. I was talking and laughing but I was also listening. I heard her when she said – in the loveliest British accent, Oh I really love corn but it’s gonna stick on my teeth. Please just get me some toothpicks afterwards.
They all laughed. She ate the corn. I did too. Heaven is good. The battle is won.
The third and last BBQ dinner was with two French gentlemen, and boy oh boy, their table manners – impeccably refined.
I ate slowly. I waited for them to advance. They did. Never have I seen the silverware used to the fullest with utmost finesse. I looked at them and imitated their ways as much as I could.
They removed the kernels from the cob with grace, and so did I.
Never have I been finesse than that night.
I guess I won the 2nd and 3rd battle, and I think I am very well prepared with all the upcoming ones.
And before I end this post, I’d like to leave you something from the Art of War once more – If you know the enemy and know yourself, your victory will not stand in doubt; if you know Heaven and know Earth, you may make your victory complete – and this has nothing to do once again with my battle with the corn on the cob.