Trying to find a Restaurant…
“Just pick a place!” I exclaimed exasperatedly to Tom.
He grimaced at me with a flash of annoyance and looked equally exasperated. I crossed my arms, not budging on my stance that he was the sole reason I wasn’t eating yet.
“Fine,” he muttered and pointed to an Asian-looking brown building looking very out of place next to the Tuscan architecture of the buildings on either side of it.
I stared at the restaurant he was pointing at in disbelief.
“But that’s some weird American-Asian-fusion-something cuisine place,” I spluttered and threw my hands up in the air, my Italian ancestry apparently coming out on this darkened tree-lined street in the middle of Montecatini, Italy. “I thought you wanted Italian,” I said to him accusingly.
“I don’t care anymore,” Tom replied levelly. “I just want you to relax.” He emphasized the last word slowly.
“But you said you wanted authentic Italian spaghetti,” I protested stubbornly. “So we should keep looking.” I spun around on my heel and stormed off down a side street we’d probably already been down. I heard Tom sigh behind me and then his footsteps as he followed me down the street.
We were both tired after driving up to Montecatini from Montalcino and had been walking around for thirty minutes trying to find a restaurant that served proper Italian entrees. Not pizza, not a café, but an actual restaurant that had gnocchi and spaghetti and ravioli and all those wonderful Italian dishes that Tom was craving when we started this search. For the record, I would have been fine with pizza.
Apparently, such a place did not exist in Montecatini, at least not within walking distance of our hotel. Whose desk attendant, by the way, did not want to help us find food. Or just didn’t speak very good English. One or the other.
So now my poor boyfriend of one and a half years was finding out what my family has known for years; I go a little bit psycho when not fed in a timely manner.
Couple Travel Tip: Eat
Navigating a new country or city together is stressful enough. Don’t do it with low blood sugar and a rumbling stomach. You’ll both enjoy your time together more if you’re eating regularly.
Traversing somewhere new can make it hard to stay on an eating schedule so stocking up on some snacks before leaving the airport or your point of departure will keep you fed while navigating public transportation or confusing roads that don’t offer much in terms of food. Basic crackers are usually a safe bet if you can’t read the package labeling. Nuts and dried fruit mixes are an even better alternative since they’ll keep your blood sugar regulated and will fill you up more than empty carbs.
Compromise Equals a Happier Stomach…
Tom and I eventually settled on a little café to eat at in Montecatini that had subpar gnocchi and ravioli, however it fed us and afterward we were happy again and couldn’t quite remember why we were so grumpy with each other in the first place.
Tom is now my fiancé so I guess he decided he could deal with my food-induced mood swings. Also, a few more trips together helped us to learn how to travel together better, particularly when it comes to eating.
This past December we were in Bangkok – our first night in Thailand and we were incredibly jet lagged. We’d been walking around all day exploring the city and had passed too many Asian restaurants to count. But along came dinner time and we seemed to have stumbled upon an Irish / Italian part of town because all we could find were pubs and kitschy Italian diners. I could feel my lack of food temper growing and bit my lip to keep from snapping unnecessarily at Tom. Now when my crabby I-need-food-now moods happened, I just didn’t talk until I got food in me. You’d think Tom would like that, but no; he says he can feel my annoyance emanating off me. So there we were, not able to find an Asian restaurant in Bangkok, which made me feel like the city was playing some messed up joke on us. Tom, sensing my pending mood and now knowing how to accommodate it, pointed to a restaurant in front of us.
“See that Italian restaurant? If we can’t find this restaurant here…” he paused and pointed to an entry in the open Thailand guidebook he was holding. “It’s supposed to be close by, but if we don’t find it in ten minutes, then we’ll come back and go eat at that Italian place.”
Eating at an Italian restaurant our first night in Thailand seemed morally wrong, but in order to keep the peace I agreed.
Twenty minutes later I was happily devouring cannelloni in the Italian restaurant. And believe me, we definitely had enough Asian food for the rest of our trip to make up for it. And most importantly, Tom and I had figured out one more thing to help prevent an unneeded argument while traveling together.