At home abroad – Image #109

Near my work a Bavarian Beer Keller opened today, coincidentally on the same day that a colleague from Bavaria was visiting the office. I know some colleagues were taking him out tonight, and I think they resisted the temptation to go there.

But it did set me thinking: why do people go abroad and then seek out places that serve the same food as they have at home?

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On my (relatively limited) travels, when I’ve been to Spain, Greece, India or Portugal, I’ve almost always seen a Red Lion (or similar) pub or somewhere else serving roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, real ale or fish and chips.

To me, when you go on holiday, it’s usually to get away from all that is familiar, to experience something new, to try the local cuisine and find out about local customs. I actually see business trips as an opportunity to do the same. So when I see “British” type establishments I head off in the opposite direction.

Speaking to another colleague earlier, he was telling me about a visit to India he had recently. There were two restaurants in the upmarket hotel he was staying in. There was at least a half hour wait for a table in the one serving pizza and hamburgers, yet the one serving high quality local dishes was practically empty.

I know that people worry about having upset stomachs etc, but that’s just as likely whatever you eat, since all the ingredients will be washed in the same water. Of course you have to apply some common sense, but in general I think if you’re careful then you don’t have to be limited to what you know.

To me, going somewhere else and not trying local produce seems rude. What do you think?

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