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Aug 12 2007

Do we know how to have fun, or what?

Dr. Darling and I spent most of the weekend getting The Penthouse-Nordic ready for the next wave of company from the U.S., which begins one Thursday of this week. Until she started her new job as a Copenhagen's 1st Ph.D postal carrier, the Swede handled most of the household chores during the week, and good gawd how I miss that!

We're still figuring out the new division of labor now that we're both working full-time with commutes of 35 minutes and an hour, respectively. The first two weeks were focused on just trying to get adjusted to getting up at 5 a.m., and neither one of us felt like doing very much during our very short evenings, so the place needed a good hoeing out in preparation for guests.

We did take a couple hours off during the warmest part of Saturday afternoon to run some errands  and ended up going to a large retail complex on the south side of town that seems to sprout a new store every time we're there.  The newest addition is a "food court", but I don't think the designers of this particular shopping center quite really understood the concept since it's in a completely separate building and not connected to anything else in the area.  It's also long and narrow, resembling a "food hallway" rather than a food court.

It was 4 p.m. by the time we got around to fika, and it was hot enough that we both figured we could forego coffee. The initial plan was to hit the Burger King in the "food court" for their new ice cream dessert which is kind of like the poor cousin of a DQ Blizzard. (I find ice cream to be a reasonable substitute for caffeine when the weather is warm.) But once we got inside the food corridor, Dr. Darling was intrigued by the quickie Chinese place, which was offering a take-away box of noodles and two other dishes for an insanely cheap price.

Since it was now late enough in the afternoon for anything we ate to qualify as an early supper, we decided to split a box of noodles, chicken chow mein and vegetarian egg rolls…the only problem was where to eat it. The Swede felt that since we'd paid the take-away price, we weren't entitled to eat it one of the nearby tables…even though that's kind of the whole point of a food court.

So we decided to walk around to the side of the building to see if we could find a shady spot to sit down, and sure enough we did…directly across from the order intercom for Burger King's drive-thru window.  Here again, not quite what one expects at a "food corridor"…especially since the Burger King was at the other end of it.

But even more odd was the fact that the menu board was a good 15 feet further up the drive, so virtually every vehicle that drove in blew right past the intercom and had to stop and back up.  But once the drivers backed up to where they could actually place an order, they were a pretty good distance from the menu board…so heaven help the person who didn't know exactly what they wanted when they drove up.

Adding to the confusion was the driver-thru worker, who could not see all the backing & fro-ing going on at the menu board (because she was around the corner at the other end of the building) and kept inviting people to order well before they were ready to do so…and in some cases before they'd even made it back to the intercom.

And as we sat there in the shade, sharing a box of Chinese take-away and trying not to laugh outloud at the hapless drive-thru customers who were clearly willing to jump through a lot of hoops for their Whoppers, Dr. Darling remarked that it was one of the most interesting dinners out she'd ever had. Hey, what can I say? I'm a hot date!

Feed my ego!

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