Biff Rambles On About … Sticking It In the Chops, Being Internationally Bazaar, and Investing in World Markets

Biff Hiking #4


I can see from the ol’ calendar on the wall that it is Wednesday.

Nothing escapes my eagle-like eyes.

Except those letters on the eye chart on the DMV.  Those little buggers are very elusive.

But as I saying just a few sentences ago, it is Wednesday, or as the ancient Romans called it, “Hump Day”.

Wednesday night here at Casa de Biff is “eat out night”.  As the name implies, it is the night when the kitchen is eschewed and dinner is partaken of at a restaurant.  I’m not sure where this particular tradition got started.  Somewhere back in the mists of time, I guess.  Back in the day, it was probably a welcome break from the grinding workweek and borderline poverty.

What better way to claw one’s way out of poverty than by going out and having overpriced food?

But I have always been a firm believer in treating one’s self (within reason) to keep one’s spirits and enthusiasm up.  It bucks up one’s spirits if, occasionally, one can say, “I’ll have the lobster, my good man,” to the waiter.

Except I never said that.

It was more like, “I’ll have the meatloaf, please.   Extra ketchup.

Wherever my brows might have been, they were never high.

Occasionally on “eat out night”, I might have even said, “I’ll have the goulash, please … and put a good head on it.

My palate was never accused of being sophisticated.  Nor was I, for that matter.  When I was growing up, fried Spam was considered, “eatin’ high on the hog“.  And, from what I’ve read on the side of the can, that is not far from the truth since there is actual trace amounts hog in Spam, though I’m unsure of the actual percentages.

Anyway, I did not mean to set off on that tangent.  Tonight’s destination on “eat out night” was a Chinese buffet.  I’m sure the food is about as Chinese as I am, but it had Chinese-sounding names and I always eat with chopsticks, so that’s about as close as one can get without having to get on a plane and sit there for more hours than I care to spend on a plane.

I have often wondered why I eat with chopsticks when I go to Chinese restaurants.  They go against every principle I have regarding food.  They are not efficient.  They can lead to splinters if they are of inferior quality (which they almost always are).  They are useless when it comes to eating soup or cutting something that’s too big to fit politely on one’s mouth.   They can lead to the gastronomic equivalent of “writer’s cramp”.

And yet, I love eating Chinese food with them.

After pondering why for a bit, I think I finally concluded that I like the fact that chopsticks set a very nice pace for eating.  They control the amount of food that can be consumed in a single bite and they control the frequency at which one can move food from one’s plate to one’s mouth.  They force one to slow down … to enjoy the food … to enjoy the surroundings.  They are like a teacher telling a child to walk, not run.  The labors and skills necessary to eat with chopsticks makes us pause to appreciate those bits of food that actually make it to our mouths.

So that is why I eat Chinese food with chopsticks.  It heightens the experience and sets a gentle, comfortable pace.

After dinner, since it seemed to be an international sort of night, I thought it would be nice to drop by World Market for a little walk.  If you don’t have a World Market where you live, you are missing out on a real treat.  It is a store that sells things from all over the world.  There is furniture and art and toys and cookware and, best of all, food.  Now, I’m sure most of this stuff is of an inferior quality and would be laughed at heartily by anyone from the country from where it supposedly came from.  But I enjoy it.  Where else can you pick up Vegamite, Japanese Pocky sticks, German mustard, Belgian chocolate, and English tea, all in the same trip?

So tonight I bought some Veira brand Marie “biscuits” from Portugal (excellent with coffee!), some German honey (made from bees wearing lederhosen and knee socks), and some McVitie’s fruity shortcake “biscuits” (recommended to be eaten while wearing a monocle).

I’m not sure why I bought these things.

Perhaps because I have a very bad habit of impulse buying when I go to World Market.  It makes me feel so cosmopolitan!

But one only has to step outside the automatic doors of World Market to realize that one is still in Texas.  The 102 degree heat (39 C) is a very good reminder.

So, all in all, it was a very international evening:  Chinese food, Portuguese biscuits, German honey, British fruity shortcake biscuits, and Texas heatstroke.



  1. [Grin] Good one! My wife’s from the Philippines, one of those places where Spam is considered highbrow. And considering the rising price of a can of it, it’s turning it into a highbrow cut here too.

    At least that’s what I told the people that time we snuck it into their mac and cheese…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love the ref to McVitie’s biscuits we lovingly refer to them as ‘dead fly’ biscuits as the currants within resemble them – the monacal helps to spot the though! Love from the UK! Fab blog it’s a hoot.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha ha! You’re right! I opened the package last night and didn’t think anything about it, but when I read your comment, I laughed, because they actually do look like some unfortunate flies got caught up in the batter at the factory. Now I can never unsee that. Thanks! Ha ha!

      Glad you like my blog! And I always love chatting with people from the UK. I am a bit of an Anglophile.


  3. very sophisticated and ethnic perhaps… (tho’ I imagine the Chinese dream of being sophisticated like us Americans someday and eat KFC or Taco Bell or perhaps at Sonic…

    As for World Market – we have one near us. Great for biscotti,coffee syrups, and some sweets My wife and I will go there on the night we eat out nearby – in compensation MAYBE if I took chopsticks with me, I wouldn’t have to walk dinner off as often?!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hiya, NotDonner! Great to hear from you.

      It’s funny about your KFC comment. I was watching a travel show the other day and the hosts were in the middle of some Asian street market (in Taiwan, I think), and right in the middle of all these vendors selling all manner of street foods (pieces of chickens, goat, crickets, etc.) was this giant KFC sign with a picture of the Colonel on it. It looked very incongruous. But I guess all of our fast food chains have spread out around the world like a fungus.

      And I’m with you … I love going to World Market. I get a kick out of seeing all the stuff from other countries.

      And you may be right about the chopsticks theory. Except that even when I use them, I still have to walk off dinner afterwards! Something about buffets that make people eat WAY too much.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Vegemite – Australian fare used for toast, with or without egg and/or avo, as soup (no more than 1 tsp or it’s too salty), and as a treat to get the cat into the cat-carrier!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve never actually had Vegamite, but I have always wanted to try it since the Men At Work song back in the 80s. Perhaps I’ll get brave a buy a jar of it someday soon. 🙂 If it can get a cat into its carrier, it’s got to be good stuff!

      Liked by 1 person

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