lunch sanity

I’ve been looking for grants all day.  All day.  One site says it wants to fund human rights projects for Bangladeshi women.  Another wants to dig wells.   Another is dedicating all it’s funds to democracy initiatives in struggling republics.  Fantastic.   But what I need is somebody who’d like to help a bunch of old ladies in a village refurbish an old house and make it into a cultural center/tourist opportunity for interested travelers.  And I’m finding zilch.

So after a few hours, I got hungry, looked around for my lunch buddies and found out that I’d have to wait another couple of hours until we’d all eat together.  Tick, tock, tick, tock, stomach grumble.  And then when my lunch buds do show up there’s a fifteen minute conversation in which we mull over the same uninspiring old lunch choices: fried potatoes, bread and cheese, scrambled eggs, eggs with beans, mashed potatoes, cheese and bread. With sauce.

Frustrated over the grant search and the lack of lunch options suited to my Texas pallet, I snapped.  When Guyane inquired about my lunch preference, “Lav, Brent, inch es uzum?”  the tension finally wrenched tight enough to send a slight fizzure through my sanity.

“What do I want?” I bit back.  “A bean burrito!”

“What?” Guyane said.

“Look.”  Sitting in front of my computer I immediately Googled up this image:

“Isn’t it beautiful?” I said.  “The beans… oh lord… and the cheese melting, and the heat from the beans squishing into cool sour cream that bursts over my tongue when bite through a warm tortilla!”

Guyane and Arpine give me a quizzical look.

“I’m losing it,” I say, but continue the Google image search. “Look! … I used to work here,” I tell them in a flurry.  “Oh man oh man oh man oh man.”


“Doesn’t it look wonderful!?” I gawk at the screen.

“What is it?” Guyane asks.

“Vay, Brent!” Aprine exclaims.  She knows I’m on the brink.

“It’s a Sharky’s Burrito!” I exclaim.  “I used to work here.  I ate it every day, but different.”  I close my eyes, and my hand reaches for an asbsent spoon full of imaginary black beans. “A kid’s veggie.  Black beans. A little bit of rice. A smidge of,” I run my fingers, imagine the feeling of those old latex gloves, squishing, “potatoes. If the boss isn’t looking, a scoop of queso.  Both cheeses. Pico. A little lettuce. One slice of Jalepeno; I like the suprise. Spicy ranch. AND A LINE OF ROASTED SALSA! OOOOOH!”

“Ay Brent, chunenk.”

“And the next morning,” my fingers move with enormous speed and dexterity, typing in the search box, devouring the images on Google with voracity, ” it would be two carne guisada burritos and a bean and cheese at La Pop’.

la popular.jpeg

“For lunch, Taco Bueno.  Mexi Dips and Chips and a Beef MUCHACO!”

beef muchaco

“Brent,” Guyane says, “What is ‘muchaco’?”

“It’s fast food.  Tex-Mex.  DELICIOUSNESS!”

“Ok, so maybe you like beans,” she says.

“Absolutely, I do.” I am still madly image searching.

“Maybe we can have lobiyov tsvadzegh (green beans and scrambled eggs)?”

“Oh… ok,” I whimper. “But oh my lord, LOOK!  Can’t we just have my mom’s roast and potatoes!? Or spaghetti and meatballs!”

I have to dig through my own files for this one. “Don’t worry, it’s only green for halloween!!!”

“How about pizzza?” Guyane asks.  “Alvart jan, pizzan unen khanutum?  Inch chargi? … Yerek hat kberes?” And they leave me to my slobbering, my gastropornographic wanderings over every possible thing I’d eat right now.

“Oh pizza sub.  Oh chips and dips.  Oh chips and SALSA!  Tostadas… Little Caesars… Hot’N’Ready….

Screen Shot 2018-05-30 at 2.10.20 PM

“Oh. My. Gosh.” My fingers go absolutely nuts.

chocolate chip cookies.jpeg

“CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

I still have 21 months to go.  I think I’m in trouble.


  1. Christine

    omgburritos. poor brento! hang in there!

  2. Kim the mom

    I love this post! But then I know you and your love of the bean! Glad the staples made the list. You know when I get tempted to eat me some bluebell or chocolate chip cookies I remember you are out there without even the smell. Oh you forgot about pizza and white dip and bean dip and oh by the way your dad and I had us some bean burritoes in your honor tonight, with sour cream. yummooooooooo! Don’t worry you will make it and even one day you will miss the flavors you have now. Gosh that was such a mom thing to say! Love you more than my favorite favorite! Kim the mom!

  3. cintussupremus

    Sharky’s! If it makes you feel any better we don’t have anything as beautifully good/gross as it here in California either. I guess that’s another thing to add to our list of things to do when we reunite in Abilene in a year and a half.

    PS I just commented on really old blogs of yours at blogspot– unaware of the date or your recent move. Forgive me.

  4. oh brenton! do you know how long i’ve been dreaming of these same delicacies?!?! and finally, FINALLY, in less than a month, the sweet ambrosia will again touch my lips! unfortunately, it will be for a limited time, but you better believe i will be going to bueno every night about 11 pm! remember when we used to do that when jen and i lived in the apartment? oh brenton, you made me that much more excited to go home!

    sorry if you hate me after this message. but i’ve lived through the agony as well!

  5. This is one of the most accurate descriptions of insights into living abroad for an extended period of time that I have ever read. Kudos! You made my mouth water…and maybe my eyes a little bit. I feel ya.

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