A personal diary about life in a country town, Bungendore NSW Australia

  Saturday 19 April 2003
Start with fluoro gravel and ceramic signs in the fish tank saying 'No fishing', add some scary manikins and you've got a pub restaurant.
Scary restaurants and other eating places. 

Both our older girls work part-time in local pubs, clubs and restaurants. Jackie has worked mostly as bar staff for the last few years, and she has recommended her younger sister Kate for a few jobs in the restaurants of the pubs where she works. It's a good deal, Jackie likes the social interaction, Kate likes the professionalism and service aspects (and the extra cash while she's at uni. Jackie works 'part-time' full-time). Kate is less self conscious now, but we've been careful not to turn up at these places in case we are 'embarrassing'. My parents are here, gasp!

This night we were invited, because Jan's parents were staying and Kate thought they'd like the food where she was working. We were a big group, my daughter was with us from Melbourne with a school friend, and the four adults. The evening was ok, as the barb goes, I went knowing what to expect, and wasn't disappointed. As the images tell, I was also acutely uncomfortable in the environment.

Of course people eat out for lots of reasons. Their choices are based on fashion, value, social comfort, social occasion and sometimes even for the quality of cooking and ingredients. Those of us lucky enough to eat out (even if it's just occasionally) at good restaurants, and those who also cook, eat and read about good food, are a minority. Because we are the explorers, we may be influential in changing mass tastes and customs, but we should never kid ourselves that this is how everyone wants to eat. 

I believe we choose places to eat for the support and reinforcement they give us to a complex set of our social and cultural rules. Some places you just feel comfortable in, others... scared. I will watch with interest how we pass, intentionally or not, those values on to our children, and see how they will eventually synthesise their own rules.  

Kate at the servery window and wait... isn't that a print of a badly painted, life-size picture of Kramer from Seinfeld on the wall behind?
  Fred Harden 2003 <thinktag> After a few days, these entries are added to the Archive Menu

Bungendore Country Diary by Fred Harden