Pay as you wish

29 06 2002

“Eat what you want
Pay as you wish”

It’s a concept I’m not quite familiar with. I did a few mini-double takes of the slogan at the top of the menu, best viagra pilule just to be sure. I was sitting in an Indian restaurant with fellow Ion Global-ers* Philip and Suba. Suba had told us about this place—which sounded somewhat mystical and terribly new agey to me—where a person could go and eat all they wanted, cialis ALL THEY WANTED, and at the end decide how much they would pay for the meal. There was no bill. There were no prices on the menu. This Oz, this Eden, this other world, simply lets the customer do the math.

“No way,” Philip had said, in his typically, disbelieving Californian way. The same kind of tone he used a bit later during lunch when I was talking about good Australian wines.

But ‘Way!’ There we were. Eating all we could and contemplating just how much we thought the vegetarian belly timber was worth. I think because we were all a little chuffed at the concept—the downright wonderful ethic of it all, the beauty of the ‘you decide the value and we’ll let you scarper no questions asked’ ideal—well I think, actually I’m pretty sure, we overpaid.

I had a little think about later and decided that pretty much everyone must overpay. For all the reasons just listed. And it’s a cheap idea. Since it’s all vegetarian Indian food. How much does that set you back? How much Dahl can one fatso possibly fit in a stomach? How many Pappadums can you cram down your gullet? How much of that bright orange stuff? So you eat. And then you decide. And it’s sudden.

“I’m giving them $15.” There. And it didn’t hurt me. And I got to try something ‘new’. But in all honesty, I really only ate about $7 worth.

I should have taken Grose there.

But I didn’t take Grose anywhere, ‘cept an Irish pub, and he could have gotten that in Canberra. He came all this way to sunny, humid Singapore, and what did I do? I took him to an Irish Pub.

He took me to a lovely free wine do (for Austrade I think he said), and I must say I’m grateful. Not just because I got to swill some lovely wine for nix, and not just because I got to meet the Australian High Commissioner before I got too tanked up. But because I got to wallow in all my homesick thoughts and ramble about things that I don’t get to talk about anymore—that kind of stuff. And it’s done me the world of good. I don’t feel quite so homesick now.

It was a strange experience though, my ‘freeloader do’ with Mr Grose. I felt a bit of a fraud, since I’d come straight from work in my honest Chairman Mao blue trousers. Everyone else was in suits and hob-nobby gear. But my discomfort was quickly remedied with a few West Australian wines. I got to see the Grose do his ‘journalist’ thing, probing the High Commissioner and trying to get to the tintacks of things. And I got to reminisce.

Got in a lovely political argument with some Liberal, who chastised me for describing Little Johnny as a brown couch—but I explained I had to put it in terms that he, a Liberal, would understand. It was lovely. Don’t really get to have those discussions anymore. I know, I have to let all the Aussie politics go. And I have to get over Paul, but that’s a whole ‘nother thing altogether. And I know Mum and Dad will be disappointed when they realise that I mean Paul, as in Keating.

Tomorrow, I’m going to watch the World Cup final…somewhere. All my usual haunts will be chockers. My prediction…Germany. But I’ll be going for Brazil. And man, wouldn’t it be great if I could find a pub with the slogan “Drink all the Guinness you want, Pay as you wish”

Now THAT’S a franchise opportunity.

Noodle-Noo. Here endeth the missive.


*Ion Global - it’s the company I work for

©Janeen McCrae 2002



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