A few days ago I experienced perhaps the most laughable moment in a long time. As a result of stress, too many feelings and confusing impression in a too short a time I had a hysterically funny experience while sitting at a nice cafe/bar in the older area in Rio de Janeiro after the conference ended for the day.
Our company consisted of roughly 13 so-called “scientists” that was not really familiar with the local customs and that had the great idea of ordering in a native specialty of cod-fish for the entire table. Either not really hungry or simply not feeling like eating (I more or less completely lost my otherwise famous appetite here in Brazil) I was partly left out from this. When the food arrives I had to admit it looked pretty awesome, white fish, potatoes, olives, eggs – all in a fatty tomato pesto. Trying desperate with something along the lines of “piccolo-plate” and appropriate hand gestures I too get some food to try.
A minute later I am laughing my lungs out in that insane heart freeing laughter that is only associated with complete absurdum. All my companions with me included has been completely silenced by the food. No one comments on the food. Sitting there eating all polite, carefully not to say anything or to look each other in the eye in order to avoid conversation. The reason you ask? The fish is so insanely salty that we can barely eat it. It is completely horrible.
Brave in the face of new experiences most of the food is emptied of the plates with the exception of larger chunks of fish on more or less all plates.
The humor of the situation is extended in a moment when my closes companions enter the following conversation:
“So, are we ordering more food?”
“God, I hope not!”
There is a lot I like about this country but Brazilian food is really not that great. Heavy meat, salt levels that could lead to a hospital trip for cardiovascular disease, fries and rice at the same time, watery beans and this incredibly crazy thing that to Germans taste like frying batter that is sprinkled on everything like Parmesan in Italy.
If I ever come back to Brazil, I am going to make sure that I have a kitchen in the hotel.