Thursday, March 16, 2006

Hi From Sunny Lisbon

I am writing this from Lisbon. Please forgive any typos since I am writing from an internet cafe with less than superior equipment and a Portguese keyboard.

I will not be posting very regularly during my trip, but I will try to check in.

Here is my first report:

This was written in my little travel notebook on the first leg of my trip to Lisbon and Spain. (Newark, here I come.)

The plane is pretty full, the seats are cramped and a baby is not so much crying but getting set off like a car alarm, sounding off for a period of time, resetting , and then setting off with the next stimulus.

I was actually served a hot mail on this flight, a rarity on transcontential flights these day. I meant to take a photo, but I realized too late the camera was in the overhead and I was trapped by the meal tray.

So imagine if you will a square plastic tray offering a samll white dish of fruit (2 red grapes, 3 oragne sections, 1 chunk of pineapple), a tiny, tiny muffin on indiscernable flavor, a cup of non-objectional raspberry yogurt and a steaming, clear plastic bag containing the mystery entree.

From a distance I couldn't make out what the flight attendents were plopping down to the pasengers in front of me. Needless to say, the entree looked better the further away it was from me.

About five rows away, I couldn't see, only smell.

"Something with eggs," I thought.

By three rows away I could make out the clear bag wrapping and make out a basic shape. A torte, a slice of quiche?

One row away, I could see it was scrambled eggs in pita bread. A sandwich. Okay, I thought. There's a lot of good things you could do with that.

Then it was my turn. I pulled apart the wrapping to discover rubbery pita and scrambled eggs. Nothing else. Just eggs and bread. No cheese, no veggies, no seasoning, no sauce to put on it, no nothing.

What I do? It was a long flight. I was hungry. In the tradition of generations of travelers before me, I just ate it, after liberally sprinkling it with the little packet of pepper that came on the tray. Oh, and think of how I would have made the same dish. I would have sauted some onions and veggies and scrambled the eggs with them as well as some cheese, seasoning (maybe cumin, maybe paprika, may French provencal dried herbs), and fresh herbs. And served some fresh salsa or similar on the side.


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