Friday, January 25, 2008

Have it Your Way

So I leave the office at 8:30 tonight (and yes, I'm staying late because I like my job again.) I'm hungry. I want a hamburger. I'm leaning towards Mickey D.'s, possibly because it's my night out and well, Anette doesn't have to know, does she?

Then I remember that someone told me that the restaurant at the Marriott serves a decent cheeseburger.

McDonalds would be easier,'s so, well, it's McDonalds. I do go there sometimes, despite everything we all know about their fecal matter count, their Amazon destoying activities and that evil clown/CEO.

But not tonight. I decide to take the high road. I'll eat a burger at a hotel bar instead.

When I get to the Marriott, my heart sinks a little bit. I see that the place is a sports bar, which I half-expected. But it's also called Champions. This it too much.

Naturally I go in anyway.

And I am not disappointed. I order a chili cheeseburger, and there's corn in the chili, and even I think I taste a little mustard in the middle of the thing, both of which would be cardinal sins at a burger joint back in the US, but I do not care, goddamnit. I'm even eating it with a knife and fork like a real Euro-pussy by the end, but hey, I'm trying to assimilate here! In fact, I devour the burger and the largish pile of fries so fast I barely have time to breathe.

So you see, homesickness can take many forms.

I look up from my now empty plate like a besplattered serial killer taking a cigarette break. The various tv monitors in Champions are showing one soccer game, one sports news program, one game which resembles a cross between basketball, soccer and dodgeball, and one shopping channel. Wow. The sound system plays Bruce, AC/DC and Lenny Kravitz at a polite volume. It makes me think even the sports bars in Vienna are restrained.

Did I want to eat like this tonight, and write like this too, because Vienna is feeling pretty permanent to me? Maybe.

Would that be such a bad thing?


Ed Ward said...

No, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. I'm happy that just around the corner from me is a bar called The Bird, owned by a couple of expat New Yorkers, which serves impeccably authentic American hamburgers. Also steaks, which I have yet to try. I don't go there often, but it's nice to know it exists. I'll buy you one there if you ever come to Berlin.

pat said...

Thanks, Ed. That would be a nice evening, and I hope I get to Berlin soon!