After about four days of subsisting on whatever's been in the fridge, supplemented with a few fresh veges, I decided that I'd splurge on a takeaway before Michael returns home. Several times throughout Wednesday I thought about what I should order. On a wintery evening with "showers and local hail" forecast, delivery seemed the smartest option. But delivery constrained me to pizza or Indian, neither of which I was particularly interested in. What I really wanted was some Chinese-style mock meat from the White Lotus vegetarian restaurant and I was pretty sure they don't deliver. Phoning ahead and picking up presents a few more obstacles than it should: you see, I don't drive. No license, no car. I just never got around to it. It would be a long cold walk, an extravagant cab ride, or a cumbersome tram trip. But as I walked home from work to clearing skies, I knew I wanted it that much. I phoned my order in, and the man receiving it warned me that they were busy and would need 35-45 minutes to fill my order. As it was I needed 35 minutes to get there! The thought of some steaming 'duck' and veges cocooned me from the cold air and I was in the restaurant for less then 10 minutes before I had my food zipped up in an insulated bag and out the door. I almost skipped back to the tramstop and fidgeted all the way home, knowing that the object of my desire was hidden in the bag beside me. By this time I was ravenous with hunger.
It was actually only a little over an hour between my phone order and arrival back home. Strangely I had the self control to present my sweet and sour 'duck' ($14.50), mixed veges ($11.50) and steamed rice ($1.50) on my imitation White Lotus plate (purchased in Footscray a few weeks ago) and take a few photos. The rice and mixed veges were nothing special, and after such a journey it was inevitable that the battered "duck" wouldn't be as hot and crisp as it should be. The sweet and sour sauce, packed separately, was pleasantly tangy and not the sugar syrup that it so often is. Hardly seems worth the trouble, does it? Yet the planning, the slightly inconvenient trip, the building hunger and the anticipation were an unexpected joy in themselves. And no lukewarm carrots could spoil that.
(You can read about our previous visit to the White Lotus here.)