It is that time again that I make the announcement that I am about to put things into high gear with the restaurant excursions. Having returned from an extended personal holiday — kicking and screaming — there are a few techniques that I picked up unconsciously while being abroad in Australia. It was nothing to find myself in a cafe or restaurant pulling out the high-end camera and snapping away. I may also add that I got bold enough to go into the kitchen — after requesting permissions, of course — and photographing the chefs and cooks in action. As it seemed the native Australians were quite enamoured — and some possibly ill or shocked damn near to death — with an exotic such as myself using expensive equipment, I am going to apply a bit of that boldness here in Chicago where being an exotic is not a shocking or unpleasant revelation. The point-and-click digital camera is rather inconspicuous, but pulling out the big guns with the Canon and Nikon that have serious lenses will get me a kitchen table seat and a chance to sample some items not on the menu.
Having mentioned that I was abroad in Australia, I must admit that I envy the cafe culture in Melbourne, specifically. Business people conduct meetings in cafes. Friends and family congregate in the cafes. The good thing is that, unlike in America, you are not rushed out or given pointed glances to make you uncomfortable to the point where you flee. Then again, there are miles and miles and miles and more miles of cafes and eateries in Melbourne. And they are constantly filled. Still on the topic, snapping photos of the cups of cappuccino, lattes, savouries, and desserts, my photography adventures got me extras, phone numbers, email addresses, and propositions. Since my dad promised me that he would buy me a bicycle, I avoided propositions, so I had to forego the invitations to indulge naughtiness. But in keeping with my Australian experience, I will start to seek small, quaint restaurants — exclusively — that have “close to” a cafe feel to them.
Well, my body clock is finally on Central Standard Time, my appetite is still in working order, and the Midwest Food Mecca known as Chicago awaits. With camera in hand and growling belly shouting out directions, the continued enjoyment of Chicago’s ethnic restaurants is on my calendar. Beware of man with appetite.