The food here in New Zealand has not been to my liking, so I’ve taken to ordering ‘entrees.’ That word means something entirely different from in the U.S., where they would likely be known as “appetizers.” We are in a seaport, Akaroa, and just about everything they offer is fish of some variety. My palate does not harmonize with fish (which is only considered good if it tastes like what it isn’t).

I ordered beef carpaccio two nights ago, and was served five raw cold medallions with some sort of greenish dressing on them. I’ve checked the menu and that dish is no longer offered. I am also now given to understand that “carpaccio” describes various dishes served raw.

I’ve been paying the price ever since, and it is amazing how stomach and intestinal distress taxes joie de vivre – no desire to drink coffee (which is excellent here) or eat even modest quantities of food of any kind. Beer or wine – forget it. Nothing seems remotely interesting, no desire to write or read or hike or even just sit and people-watch. My quest right now is to find a bottle of sparking water to keep fluids moving through me so that this nasty business is soon over.

Yes, too much information. But I was thinking of John Cleese’s appearance on The Daily Show a while back when he was asked about politics and the world situation, and he said “I don’t give a fuck.” He’s in his late seventies now, and I think he’s assumed the proper attitude, which is mine right now as I make the best of this situation and the after effects of that awful meal.

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