Monday, June 29, 2009

Home From the Cold - A Caribbean Cruise Pt. 5

By Kal-F

Unlike the Sun and the Sea Restaurant where the service is buffet style (which means that you wait in line for 40 minutes until the hundreds of people in front of you assiduously make their selections), our service in the Universe Dining Room is catered by two waiters. One of them, Alex, is from the former Yugoslavia and the other, Pedro, from Barbados.

Alex brings us the menus and gives us advice about this evening's special. The special doesn't sound very much like a special and we resort to reading the menus. Trevor and I seem to be getting perilously close to the age of geriatrics, an undeniable sign of which is that we now find it difficult to read the menus without our glasses. We also seem to be gradually losing our memories and have forgotten the glasses in our respective cabins. We now find ourselves in the hapless position of having our respective spouses read the menus to us, a situation that portends a questionable future.

Soups and salads are there for starters but since it is now after 9:00 p.m.,( half an hour after we arrived) we have all exercised a collective indiscipline by devouring the bread rolls and butter that have been offered and re-offered to us. I am almost full by the time the soups arrive.

My choice, a lovely pale-green vegetable chowder is unfortunately more appetizing in the looks than in the taste. After the second spoonful, I wonder out loud if the chef has accidentally spilled an entire container of salt into the mix or if if he is forced by limitation of time and space to scoop up ocean water to do his cooking.

Pedro, probably witnessing the more than ordinary contortion on my face, comes over to inquire how things are progressing and to my suggestion that he should advise the chef to go a lot more lightly on the salt, confides that with the present chef it is a hopeless cause, the suggestion having been made on divers occasions before, to no avail. I am thus reduced to pushing the soup aside and taking my chance with the rest of the offerings which Alex is now carting to our table.

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