Chinese Food

That Was A GREAT Mistake

Nobody's perfect.  Everyone makes a mistake from time to time.  It's unavoidable.  I made one today, and I’m not sure if my life will ever be the same.

Some people live their lives in a dangerous fashion.  They like to take as many risks as possible, and they gain a lot of enjoyment from the excitement.  When something bad happens to them, they receive little pity because everyone agrees they had it coming.

Other people exercise a great amount of caution.  They rarely (or never) do anything that could result in any sort of harm.  Therefore, they don’t have many problems in their lives.  They also have a lack of excitement and, more importantly, stories.

I choose to believe that I’m a little closer to the second type of person.  Some may disagree with this statement, though.  One could use this blog as an argument.  I suppose moving to the other side of the world, by myself, pushes me a little back in the direction of the first type.

I guess I’ll let you draw your own conclusion.

Now, I’ll tell some background information that’s necessary to my story.  I don’t like cooking for just one person.  It’s a pain.  There are a lot of leftovers, so I have to eat it for multiple meals.  If it’s bad, I have to eat bad food for more than one meal.  Recipes make cooking easier, but not in Hungary.  If I get a recipe in Hungarian, I can’t read it.  If I get one in English, I have to find the Hungarian names for the ingredients.  Plus, I’ll eventually run into measurements that I don’t understand.  I have no idea what the American measurements mean, much less their European counterparts.

And don’t get me started on vegetables.  There’s a million different kinds with different names, and they all look the same.

Therefore, I like to eat out.  The Csaba Center, the local mall, has a food court.  In this food court is a Chinese place.  The food is not good.  Hold on, that’s not fair.  Ask yourself this question, do you like crappy Chinese buffet food that sits out for hours so it turns to mush and then is thrown in a microwave before It’s all mixed together and given to you?

If you answered “yes” to my question, then you’d say the food here is good.  If you didn’t, then I doubt you’d like it.

Anyway, they sell a big plate of food for 350 Forints in the evening.  If you don’t know how much that is, check the exchange rate.  Right now, it’s equal to $1.70 US.  That’s a pretty good deal for a dinner.  No cooking.  No cleaning.  Vegetables.  Does it matter what they’re called? No.  Plus, no endless leftovers if it’s a bad meal.

The last reason is my new favorite.  Tonight’s meal was bad.  Before I tell you what it was, I have a question.  Is it healthy to eat a bunch of bones?  If it’s not, lie to me and say it is.

Tonight’s meal was Spicy Greasy Fish Skin Filled With A Record Number Of Bones And A Remarkably Low Amount Of Meat With A Side Of Rice That Has Been Burnt Into Clumps.  See how good my Hungarian is getting, I translated that myself.

Now, I’m not an expert on cooking terms.  It’s another reason I have trouble following recipes.  You always run into fancy expressions like these:

  1. Grill – This is what you call the front of a car, so I assume this means you’re supposed to put your ingredients into the street and drive into them at a high rate of speed.  I have yet to enjoy “grilled” food when I prepare it myself.
  2. Broil – I understand this term, I just don’t understand why cookbooks always let this typo happen.  They obviously meant “boil”, but they added an “R”.  Fortunately, I pay attention to detail and cook it properly.  Again, I’ve never been satisfied with my home cooking.  What do restaurants know that I don’t?
  3. Fry – I’m baffled by this one.  I’ve even tried going to McDonalds to get an order of fries to eat with my meal.  I can’t get over how raw everything else tastes.

Enough of this.  I’ll get to my point.  I don’t know the term for how my fish was prepared, so I’m going to make up a new one:


No, I don’t mean it tasted great.  I mean the instructions are to add GRease and hEAT it up – GREAT.  Don’t try it at home.  It doesn’t work.  Don’t even try it at a restaurant.  It’s a mistake that I don’t think I’ll make again.

Does this mean I’ll stop eating at this Chinese place?  Don’t be ridiculous, I can get a meal for 350 Forints.  I’ll just avoid the GREAT Fish.

Oh, I almost forgot the best part.  I’ve made friends with the lady who works there, so she gave me a bunch of extra fish that you wouldn’t normally get!  Aren’t friends great…

Hungarian word of the day:


Pronounced Hol.  I don’t think there’s a Hungarian translation for GREAT yet, but this word means “fish”.  It’s half the battle.