2/25/10: Routeburn Track, New Zealand
[Happy birthday, Alex!]
As I sit typing this, there is a couple sitting near us eating steak. Steak with peas and mashed potatoes. We finished our dinner already. Would you like to know what we had? We had pasta with instant cheese sauce and a can of tuna. But do I envy those steak-eaters? No! Because I have a netbook! And I get to write the blog! Hey, look at me go, writing the blog, whee! Boy, I bet those steak-eaters are pretty jealous right about now, looking at me and my fancy netbook typing away…
We discovered in the hut kitchen today that there’s a certain hierarchy that is somewhat correlated to age. There are the pros – the steak-eaters, if you will. They have pots and pans and cutlery and tiny spatulas and hey, do you remember those spoon-forks I wrote about way back when? Yep, they’ve got those too. In an entire rainbow of colors. They have plates and kettles and tomatoes and mushrooms and mugs full of tea.
Then there are the minimalists – they don’t have all the extraneous gear – just one pot, a bowl or plate, a spoon, a fork and a mug. But don’t let this fool you – the minimalist we cooked next to today made pasta with real tomato sauce and vegetables (broccoli!) on the side.
Then there’s us. Sigh. We’re so sadly pathetic that we got our own category. We have one pot. We bought it because it was only one dollar more to buy one versus renting one. We also have some plastic cutlery that we stole off of our last Dragonair flight. Luckily, that cutlery also came in a plastic wrapper with little salt and pepper packets, which meant we would have something to flavor our meals with and make our dining experience feel just that little bit more upscale. “Would you like freshly ground pepper on that?” “Why, yes, please! That would be delightful!” It would be just like eating out! Unluckily, when we went to use the salt and pepper earlier today at lunch, we discovered that the packets had broken open and spilled everywhere in the wrapper.
We don’t have plates. We don’t have bowls. We don’t have mugs. We do have one pot. In hindsight, perhaps we should have also gotten one bowl. That way we wouldn’t have been forced to eat all of our meals hunched so closely together over our one little pot, like two hungry little hobbits. Instead, one of us (Kevin) could eat hunched over the pot like a hobbit and the other person (me) could eat out of the bowl like a normal person. But as it is we’re forced to huddle next to each other, tilting the pot one way and then the other so we can each scoop out one last spoonful of the instant cheese sauce that’s left inside.
I suppose given what we had, we did make the best of the situation with our tuna/pasta casserole creation, though Kevin lamented the absence of peas, and I lamented the absence of, well, flavor. But, folks! Not to worry! We do have a netbook, which is better than plates and almost as good as a spoon-fork. At least I’m trying to convince myself that this is so. This post – it was brought to you by an envious stomach.
Pictures of the Day: We walked through these crazy moss-tree forests today.