I am not made for Nanay Betty’s; Nanay Betty’s is not made for me.

It’s true, perceptions change facts.

I stopped at Nanay Betty’s right before I went to the library on Saturday to drop off books.  About a dozen people were sitting at the tables, chatting pleasantly.  The decor was the same – white walls, tables set up mostly as eight-tops with white tablecloths with plastic covers, the huge karaoke setup dominating the room, the porcelain crucifixes behind the counter.

I really wanted to take a picture of the tiny woman behind the counter with all those crucifixes, but I chickened out.  I’m really going to have to work on that.

I ordered chicken adobo, some kind of pork thing with coconut milk and ginger, and tarot leaves stewed in coconut milk and ginger and garlic.  With rice.

I have no idea whether the food was prepared well or not – but it was heavy, bland, and oily.  How you can make food that has been soaked in coconut milk and ginger bland, I don’t know, but you can.

Ah, I was sad.  I ate quite a bit of it, trying to convince myself that it was just my unfamiliarity that was the problem, but I never succeeded, and had to leave about a third of it behind.  Even with my upbringing, I couldn’t bring myself to ask for a to-go box (and then just toss the box).  I didn’t even want to carry the food out the door.

As I ate, the place became more and more annoying.  “What?  You can’t even bother to decorate the walls?  These tables feel like picnic tables.  Like troughs.  These people actually look like they’re enjoying their food.”  Blah blah blah.  The snide voice running in my head made me almost feel worse than the food did (she noted snidely).

I won’t be going back.