Tuesday, November 17, 2015


While talking to my neighbor this morning, the subject of grits happened to come up, which got me to thinking about grits, which, in turn, got me to thinking about pleasant trips to the South in years gone by - Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Virginia. In the South, they have a restaurant called Waffle House, as prolific as the Circle K here in Bali, and more or less the same size. If you happen to pass by one Waffle House, no worries - there's bound to be another one within a quarter mile. The Waffle House serves waffles (appropriately enough), along with hash-browns, fried eggs, bacon, sausage, ham and, always, grits. Grits are as common and as toast and you can get them as a porridge or, more popularly, fried, with butter, salt and pepper on top. And cheddar cheese, if you want. In every Waffle House you will find a flat grill about the length of a common kitchen counter, and everything on the menu is slapped onto this grill, including the fried pecan pie. The Waffle House is the Southern American equivalent of the Indonesian warung, and you can expect to visit with the staff and the cooks while you eat, because Southern hospitality is the equivalent to the common affability of Indonesian folk. In fact, they are the only friendly people in America.

"Whar y'all come frem? Oh, I ben ta Arygone once-it. Got a kayson thar. Wry-ney, ain't it? Y'all want on-yon wif yer tatters? Grane papper? Y'all wan-a slass-a pee-can pie wif ass-cream?"

Different language altogether - and the further South you get, the more different it gets. I remember buying some boiled peanuts from an old rural Georgia farmer and having no idea whatsoever what he was saying. Biled peenits.

Y'all come back now, hear?"

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