Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Providence, Rhode Island is partly responsible for the food problem in World.

First of all, I apologize to the people who read my blog regularly for not updating content for quite a few months.  Anyway, I was in Providence, Rhode Island couple of weeks back to attend a conference.  I didn't have much time to roam around the city, however I checked a new restaurant or brewery every night in the area.  Any restaurant I went to served huge amount of food. At some places food was served in plates as big as counter top.

In one of the Indian fast food places, one of our professor went to eat something and server gave him 'half a kilogram' of rice.  So, my professor politely said please do not give me that much food. The server quipped, "Throw what you don't end up eating."

In one of the other places, we were nine people and only seven people ordered food.  Although all nine ate, the leftover was enough for at least 3-5 people.  I was getting curious and so I asked the waitress about this monstrous serving size. The waitress however was pretty slim with nice figure.  She said people in Providence do not like to be served little food. They get angry.

I asked, "But the people here look slim and not unnecessarily fat."  She said because you are looking at us (waiter and waitress), and then she pointed at our table and said "We don't eat that food."

So my conclusion from the trip was Providence is probably the reason for food problem in the world. Have you also been to a place where they serve food portions of the size of monsters?

Eventful Trip: The trip was very eventful for me. I flew from San Francisco on time and reached Newark on time in the morning. I was supposed to fly from Newark to Providence at 8:20am by Continental Air.  The flight got delayed 20 minutes, and it kept on getting delayed, until they told us at 12:00pm that they "might" be able to fly at 3:00pm. Their plane had mechanical trouble. They gave me a $8 coupon, and it costed me $10 to eat a meal at the airport.

I decided to fly to Boston, which is an hour from Providence. They gave a seat to Boston at last minute at 2:45p. I reached Boston, and met with my friends who were coming from Atlanta. They were supposed to take me to Providence. I had to go to Providence airport as I had booked car from that airport. I could not change my reservation as Budget Rental Cars would charge me $300.00 for that. Anyway, I reached Boston, MA, met with my friends and forgot my bag on an airport shuttle.  The shuttle driver after dropping me, went on break, and then it took me more than an hour to find my bag. By the time, we got back to Providence, picked car from rental place and reached hotel, it was about 9:00pm. I was supposed to reach at 8:00am.

The conference was uneventful, however on the last day, one of my friend took the keys of my rental car and went to Boston to catch his flight. He realized that after he reached Boston. Then he left the key at airlines counter, I booked another car to go to Boston and get the keys. I was supposed to return this car on morning in Providence city and the previous car at airport. The city office was supposed to open at 8:00am and my flight was at 6:00am. Fortunately my friend said he will return the car that was supposed to be returned to the city office and I could return the airport car. I woke up at 5:00am, reached airport at 5:30, returned the car and boarded the aircraft at 5:45am. The flight was ready to take off at 6:00am except that it didn't. It never took off. We were deplaned an hour later. Continental again gave us a coupon of $8.00 as compensation where a breakfast costs about $10.00. They rerouted me with the longest possible flight with US airways. I was supposed to reach San Francisco at 11:00am in the morning, and reached at about 9:00pm.

In between, my friend told me that I parked the car in the night at wrong place and I got a $20.00 parking ticket for that. A befitting end to the whole drama.


Funny fact: I learnt today that total fuel consumed by California is more than the total fuel consumed by India or China.


  1. Nice illustration for your eventful trip. How come you didn't mention my name. I was expecting to see my name in your blog....Take care

  2. Leftovers, Raag. People like enough to take home for a second meal, especially given the prices of restaurant meals.

  3. Sheila, leftovers are alright for people who are living in that area. Tourist do not necessarily have fridge and microwaves in their hotels.

    Moreover, leftovers are like leftovers not complete food...

  4. You could save money and share, Raag.

  5. To me, leftovers are real food! My spouse and I routinely bring home at least half of what we are served and eat it for two more meals. I often make a green salad to go with whatever the leftovers are. Seems like a good deal to me -- spend $20 eating out, bring home enough yummy food for 2 more meals, and I don't have to do any cooking for 3 nights :-)

    When we travel we often stay at hotels that have microwaves, sinks and little refrigerators so we can eat the leftovers, or we stay with family who can keep and use the leftovers after we're gone. Otherwise, as Sheila said, order half of what your group would eat and share it out. Or just order an appetizer or two and a salad, my strategy.

  6. Thanks for the messages. I also bring my leftovers home and eat it next time. When I said leftovers are leftovers I meant that they are good for snacks the next time.

    Its always a good idea to eat leftover food and not let it go waste, but it generally doesn't make sense to serve as much. And by as much I mean monstrous proportions as I witnessed in Providence. It becomes quite impractical to carry food from a fast food place, or if you are in a conference, or if you have an extremely busy schedule during the trip.

  7. I like to go to a restaurant and leave feeling satisfied. There's nothing worse than dropping $30 on a meal and leaving hungry. It's even better when you get to have the same food the next day for lunch or dinner. It saves on cooking time. Many of the restaurants here aren't here with travelers in mind. The people of RI like to eat and like their leftovers.

    I'm curious which restaurants you went to where you got huge amounts of food. I usually finish my meal and feel full or bring just enough home for a lunch serving.

  8. Think of it as a local custom, Raag. We don't eat it all, but we get a good value for that much food because we get two dinners, and didn't have to cook either of them.

    When we don't intend to bring food home, we just order appetizers to share, smaller plates, less expense.

    You assumed we eat it all because you were new to our ways, and were shocked. Only teenage boys eat that much.

  9. Who goes to a restaurant and when there's food left over, doesn't take it home?