Kaieteur News – Going on a weight-reduction diet is not a Guyanese thing. Guyanese love to eat. Just take a drive by any of the many fast-food services that abound in Guyana and you would think that you are in the United States.
A few years ago, I recall being in the drive-through at a fast-food restaurant. My crowd was big. When you offer to take out a young lady in Guyana, she likes to walk with a company. It is like if she needed a bodyguard. It is also a way of saying to your date that nothing extra special is going to happen.
Well, my date wanted to make that point more than ordinary because she walked with her entire family. I had plans for a quiet evening but when we left her home with family in tow, it was clear that not only was the evening not going to be quiet but that it would cost me a hell of a fortune to feed all those mouths.
I received an early warning of how things would turn out for the rest of the evening when one of the sisters said, “I don’t know why I allowed you to talk me into coming. I did not get to eat my dinner.”
Now, when you pick up someone and that is what you hear, you know that regardless of which part of the world you are in, that dinner has to be on the menu for the night. My problem was what was going to come after the dinner.
The second mistake I made was in trying to be friendly with everyone. They all took a liking to me, which eventually meant that they began to dominate the conversation.
The third mistake I made was in asking “Where you guys would like to go?” Huge mistake on my part! One of the things that you always learn about situations like these is to take command of the situation, dictate the terms of engagement or in other words “call the shots.”
There was a chorus calling for a visit to a fast-food restaurant. I began to perspire even though the evening was cool. I had no intention of spending the rest of my evening buried among a group of persons whose company I could care little about, except for my date. And worst of all, I certainly did not look forward to spending my precious time in a fast-food restaurant.
But I had gotten myself into this jam and I had to get myself out of it. So I decided that we were going to the fast-food restaurant, yes, but we were not going inside. We would use the drive- through.
As I entered the lane, I saw a vehicle in front of me. The guy at the wheel was leaning out of his window trying to speak into the intercom. He kept leaning and talking, then pausing. After a while, I wondered whether he was having a friendly chat with the other person.
Eventually, I drove up and waited for the prompt. There was no reply. I said, “Hello?” No reply. “Hello, Hello!” No reply.
One of the persons in the back shouted, “The phone-thing is not working, you have to drive around.”
So I drove around. The car in front of me was placing his order. He paid for his order and then settled in his seat. I waited for him to move off. He did not. At least two minutes passed and still his order was not collected.
I wondered what was taking so long. After about 10 minutes, I realised why. This guy only had one other person in the vehicle but judging from his order, he must have been feeding a wedding fete. The guy collected about 10 boxes, and only two drinks.
I began to get nervous considering my crowd. I felt my wallet for assurance. It felt puffy. Luckily, the US dollar exchanges for $200 to one.
But I was still worried because at least one member of my party had indicated that she did not eat for the entire evening.
Just before the guy in the car moved off, he dropped the bill that he had received in the lane. He must have loved his car a great deal that he preferred to litter rather than bring the bill into the car or he may have just been showing off to show that having placed such a big order, he did not need to even look at the bill.
My turn came and I proceeded slowly to the window. A lady with a lovely smile greeted me, “Good evening, what would you like to order, this evening,” she asked. Before I could answer, a chorus broke out from behind me.
“We change our mind; we don’t want fast-food anymore, we would like to eat Chinese food.”
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)
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