Ahhhhh all inclusives… for most people being at an all inclusive means overindulgence- you eat and drink until it hurts. That sounds good to me. Oh how I want to overdo it. All those months I spent eating well and excercizing can just go to hell because what I really want to do now is fill my plate to brimming and then swallow then entire thing.
But that dress is still giving me lip from behind the closet doors, “Oi, chiqua! You no want to get fat here in de Dominican.” she taunts. “You no gonna fit eento me, your dress.” Juanita is purple, satiny and scrappy and she mocks me with a Spanish accent.
In a rare state of lethargy I admit that the dress is absolutely right. I must restrain myself- I must be the model of restraint. To make Juanita happy it’s the only way.
And so, at the buffet, I seize the largest plate I can find and with precision and care I arrange tiny portions of sensible foods onto it. I give each food a wide berth, not daring to let it touch it’s neighbours. Each item on the plate solitary and categorised.
Then I sit down and drink my water- nothing wrong with water, it’s essential to health (although it does lack a certain je ne sais quoi when compared to pina coladas). I look at my compartmentalised plate and I eat…very slowly. If I can’t eat too much at break neck speed like the rest of the tourists here, the least I can do is savour every bite and chew as if my jaws were hinged with molasses.
Savoring what you eat and eating it slowly is actually the best way to eat in my opinion, and when I’m not in an all-abusive…I mean all inclusivethat’s how I try to tackle my meals. With as much restraint as I can muster I munch on salad and cucumber sprinkled with tiny red roe. I delight in the fried cheese, the crepes and the bread. My mouth waters as I bring little forkfulls of guava, honeydew and cataloupe to my hungry mouth. The salsa is positively orgasmic and the cheeses to die for…But I only eat a little of each and I stop before I get uncomfortable.
If I really don’t overdo it at lunch or supper I’ll even have dessert. Sugar has always been my weakness. I can’t get enough of that white stuff! Here they have some so-so postres that I’m quite happy to skip and they also have some delightful desserts that I’m going to have to learn how to make: A creamy rice pudding, delicately scented with vanilla and cinnamon, bananas fried in tangy sugar syrup and da-da-da-da, my all-time favorite, COCONUT! This particular dish is composed of shredded coconut, sluiced into an orange-rum sauce and tickled with sweet saucey raisins. When I get this recipe figured out I’ll be sure to share it. It is divine!
“Chuiqua!” Juanita calls upon my return to our room, “you no do so bad for a toorist!”
“Gracias,” I reply. I’m already thinking about my next great meal.