Ordering Food When Travelling Abroad
When visiting different cultures or exotic locales, prospective diners are often faced with daunting challenges. Travellers, many of whom have recently arrived, can be jet lagged, tired and perhaps even a little confused.
Finding food fast under these circumstances is invariably consternating. The hotel where you are staying is a good place to start. Many hotels have brochures that provide a wealth of dining information and, failing that, the front desk serves as an all-encompassing repository of information. Asking the locals is always a good idea.
But when deciding on where to eat, there are a few things you should consider before embarking on what could otherwise turn into an exhausting experience. If you choose to dine in a restaurant where you must wait to be seated, take the time to glance around. If the restaurant is to your liking, say, quiet rather than noisy, then check out the menu before being seated. For many travellers, whether experienced or not, it is a common occurrence to find that the menu is in a language other than English. Don’t let that put you off; just ask the hostess to translate. Often, carrying a simple language guide book comes in handy. Picking out the English speakers who may be nearby can also be a definite help.
Should you choose to dine in your hotel, one of the best options is to order food in. The White Restaurant in Singapore, for example, is a fine choice. It provides a broad and varied menu, suitable for most palates and also offers a very efficient take-out service. In many instances, travellers prefer to eat at fast food service outlets, like Subway. It is easy, and since the choice of food is right in front of you, all that is required is to pick and choose. Also quite common in our modern world is to order by computer; in this instance, there are no language barriers to deal with and the ordering process is a simple method of choosing your food by making entries on a computer then waiting for your number to be called.
Many bistros and small cafes often use a simple method where the day’s offerings are posted on a chalkboard. This can be difficult to read at times, and if that is the case, ask the staff to help you out. If all else fails and you are simply out of your league, rely on your instincts; on what you know. Stick to the simple things like beef, salad and cheese. And you will find that as your journey unfolds so does your knowledge. With change comes a certain routine, whether you are aware of it or not.
It is always good to relax; try to remember that the staff you are interacting with are used to dealing with travellers just like you; a bit confused, a little excited and sometimes perplexed. Soon, you will become aware that everyone always helps and that is a good thing to bear in mind while travelling anywhere.
The dilemma of where to eat when you are confused, hungry and often tired is always solved by the tried and trusted method of ordering in food. You can relax in your own room while reflecting upon the day’s events and looking forward to the adventures that lie ahead.
Article by Peter King