Milestone, 2011

Happy Birthday, Gino Sigh. And that was a sigh of relaxation, not one of exasperation. This year has started off with a bang, of course, and we are already into a April. Yikes! I had already spent a month abroad having way more fun that normally — and I have a constant blast in Chicago — but in my absence and in my relaxation, two things had sneaked up on me.

I had not been visiting restaurants on a weekly basis.

I had rushed up on another year in my life as of 5 April 2011.

When everyone asked me what I was going to do for my birthday, they were quite miffed when I said that I was going to go home, cook some Indian food, and then put a candle on a pound cake that I had received from my travelling companion, blow it out, and make a wish. Well, I woke up on 6 April 2011, which means I got my wish. I am a man of simple pleasures, although my palate craves complex recipes. The rest of the week had been filled with dates for lunch and dinner, so having a moment to myself on my birthday to reflect on the fact that I still have to debate with people that I am much older than I look was not a bad thing to do. Yes, it helps that I do not smoke, do drugs, have an alcohol problem, or live my life like I am trying to do everything all in one day.

And with me celebrating a new year, I have started yet again branching off into some neighbourhoods that are very unfamiliar to find some eateries that I may journal and fill up on Chicago Alphabet Soup. One thing I have discovered are these small grocery stores and store-front shops that have limited seating and they have the best food that you can find. I have been gathering a list of many to try and that may mean me really being experimental because a lot of those ethnic establishments have workers whose English is as good as my knowledge of the language they speak fluently. But I am ready for a food challenge. Bring it — a menu that is.

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