Friday, September 30, 2011

Embarrassing moments - #46

(En español más abajo) 

Embarrassing moments
CanadaIt was August 1997 and I had travelled to US to the very first time. I was part of a group of seven IBM employees, from so many different backgrounds and with so little in common that we were referred to as "Noah's Ark". :-)

We were staying for five weeks at a Ramada Hotel in Fairfield, NJ (I just drove past it a few days ago!). Work was very interesting, and I was very dedicated to learn (my English skills weren't too good back then so it took some extra effort of my part). Not everybody in the group took that as a business trip (some were more interested in shopping and... um... socializing), but there was still some harmony. At least for a few days

There was a Mexican restaurant just in front of the hotel named José Tejas, and we picked it as our destination for dinner one night. Going through the menu was easy for us, as the dishes were mostly in Spanish; my pick, however, was one of the few in English, one called "Spicy Primavera shrimp".

I was warned about the inconvenience of ordering a dish that had the word 'spicy' as part of its name, at a Mexican restaurant. I made the typical porteño comment:

- Oh, c'mon... This is pure exaggeration. How spicy can it be?

I drank two cokes and then one and a half pitchers of water before I could finish it. I sweated like a pig in a sauna, and I had heartburn that lasted three days. Not only my six travel companions but pretty much the whole restaurant laughed at me and my efforts. But damn, I finished it. It was so good!

IMG01802-20110905-1741 This is where it all happenedAquí fue donde ocurrió

Era Agosto de 1997 y yo acababa de viajar a USA por primera vez. Era parte de un grupo de siete empleados de IBM de tan distintos orígenes y con tan poco en común que se nos había bautizado “El arca de Noé”. :-)

Estábamos alojados por cinco semanas en un Ramada en Fairfield, New Jersey (pasé por allí hace sólo unos días!). El curso que estábamos haciendo era muy interesante, y yo estaba muy dedicado a aprender (mi inglés no era ninguna maravilla por entonces, así que requirió un esfuerzo extra de mi parte). No todos en el grupo tomaron este viaje como algo estrictamente ‘de negocios’ (otros estaban más interesados en hacer shopping…y… este… socializar), pero igual había una cierta armonía. Al menos por unos días

Había un restaurante mexicano llamado José Tejas que estaba justo delante del hotel, y una noche lo elegimos para ir a cenar. El menú se nos hacía por fin fácil de leer, porque casi todos los platos tenían nombres en español. Yo elegí, sin embargo, uno que estaba en inglés: "Spicy Primavera shrimp" (“Camarón Primavera picante”).

Me advirtieron acerca de lo poco inteligente que era pedir un plato que tenía la palabra ‘picante’ en su nombre, en un restaurante mexicano. Yo hice el típico comentario porteño:

- Pará, che… Qué exagerados que son. Qué tan picante puede ser?

Me bajé dos cocas y luego una jarra y media de agua con hielo antes de poder terminar eso. Sudé como un cerdo metido en un sauna, y terminé con acidez que me duró tres días. No sólo mis seis compañeritos se mataron de la risa, sino que prácticamente todo el restaurante. Pero je, lo terminé. Y estaba tan bueno!

It kinda looked like this one - Lucía muy parecido a este plato 
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  1. Faltó relatar que pasó con la finalización del ciclo que siguen los alimentos.

  2. No recuerdo que haya sido un problema, así que me habré quedado con las ganas de comprobar si eso de 'cagar fuego' es metáfora o realidad...

  3. GUillermo OlmedoSep 30, 2011, 8:47:00 PM

    I've been in José Tejas too in route 46 NJ. I sweated as a pig too, but I enjoyed it too much.

    I've been part of the Noah's ark too, not sure which animal exactly.

    Nice moments... I should start with my embarrasing moments... one day... there are a lot...... (Guillermo Olmedo)

  4. Guillermo OlmedoSep 30, 2011, 8:48:00 PM

    I've just realized that I wrote a lot of "too"s hahaha

  5. You were part of the second wave, but like me, you also flew solo. Which animal? Well, not sure. I don't want to open that door for you to hit back! :-)

    As I mentioned, I drove around that area a couple of weeks ago. Took pictures of the Pinebrook building, this Jose Tejas and the Wendy's on 46 and Hook Mountain Rd. I will be back there on Tuesday, and even booked the Holiday Inn in Totowa.

    This is my second story related to Noah's Ark. If you go one week back, you will find the first one.

    Now, you want to write your own embarrassing moments? You can be a guest writer!! I remember a beautiful story about somebody sneezing at work... :-)

  6. Oh been there my friend! Except it was in a Malaysian restaurant in Jakarta. I grew up eating Mexican food in S. Texas. Jalapeños are a regular part of my diet so I was admittedly a bit overconfident about my ability to handle heat. There is heat, then there is SE ASIAN heat. Those Thai peppers make jalapeños look like sweet bell peppers.


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