Prague and The Grandma Rule

prague diptic

Now that I’m back and rested up from Prague (let’s be real – I’ve been home for two weeks. It’s the resting part that takes awhile since I require sleep equivalent to that of a sloth) I thought it would be fun to share a few pictures.

Travel, for me, is not only the chance to see a new country but also the chance to try on a new life. At home in San Francisco I eat primarily vegetarian, with the occasional fish or shrimp. In Prague, I ate barbecue pork ribs, a whole rack of ’em.

I don’t really do pork ribs, barbecue or otherwise. But my new Czech friend told me I should, that they were her favorite dish, that they were quintessentially Czech, and that they were, in her objective opinion, delicious. So I said, “Great – how do I order?”

Enter Anthony Bourdain’s Grandma Rule:

“I often talk about the “Grandma rule” for travellers. You may not like Grandma’s Thanksgiving turkey. It may be overcooked and dry – and her stuffing salty and studded with rubbery pellets of giblets you find unpalatable in the extreme. You may not even like turkey at all. But it is ‘Grandma’s Turkey’ and you are in Grandma’s house. So shut the eff up and eat it. And afterwards say, “Thank you, Grandma, why, yes, yes of course I’d love seconds.” 

When in Rome, people. 

And here’s the thing – the pork ribs were actually delicious. Did I feel awful afterward, both morally and…gastroenterologically? Definitely. But not as awful as I would have felt had I used my Czech friend and her incredible generosity to cause a fuss and make some sort of vegan scene in the little Czech pub owned by her friend, where we were drinking at our leisure in the back garden, and where we were having one of those great, up all night, we are now friends for life kind of conversations that can only happen when you travel.

I know that many hard core vegetarians and vegans would disagree with this stance. Alicia Silverstone would have been in knots even setting foot in the place. But I am all the better for having gone to dinner with my new friend. And when she comes to visit us in San Francisco, as she promised to do, she will be taken to all sorts of amazing vegetarian restaurants. And I have no doubt she’ll say, “Great – how do I order?”

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