Girls Night In

the blog for single, over-40 women

Dining Alone in a Foreign Land

on January 28, 2014

Ah, the excitement of eating out alone in another country! Language barriers are ever present and make these events oh so adventurous.

Let’s say it’s time for lunch, I’m hungry, and I want something local to eat. So, how do I order? Well, if I don’t open my mouth and say something, there is little chance of getting anything. Trying to find the right words gives me at least some chance of satisfying my hunger, even if what I actually order is a mystery. But I’m learning enough to recognize the names of different meats or, at least, to ask the right questions to determine what something is.

I can feel my dining-alone courage rise.

Once language classes are done for the day, I set out on what has become my solo dining ritual. My mind is on overload from listening, trying to process and understand these sounds that are finally beginning to take the form of an actual language. During this processing time, I need some internal quiet. So, I stop by a local hole-in-the-wall. I speak a few native words, share the sweet joy of the Father–who gives daily strength, order my veggies and tofu, then sit quietly while I take in the sights and sounds around me.


Sometimes I bite into something a bit questionable and realize it is not quite to my liking. I determine which of these unique new tastes please my palate, then hold fairly close to that menu. When I feel the need for variety, I venture out, looking to expand my choices. And each time my hunger is satisfied and I am ready to conquer the rest of the day.

I do have one confession: As a fitness instructor who has a great appreciation for health, I confess my one go-to comfort food is McDonald’s. In the States I rarely, if ever, partook of Ronald’s cuisine, but today–on the other side of the world–I enjoy all of the artificial ingredients of home, without shame.

Where have you dined out alone recently and how did you make it a pleasant experience?

Until next week, I encourage you to think outside of your neighborhood, city, state and country cuisine. Try something new and let us know how it turned out! With each new try, you will find your courage growing.


photo 5     Shirlee


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