Everyone needs these kinds of dinner guests.
Wait…I don’t mean to imply that David and I invited chips and halapenos to dinner. Those treasures were the gifts that were brought to us by new Hungarian/German pals Claus and Andrea. Sorry, I don’t have any photos of them…let’s just say that I wasn’t thinking clearly after seeing their industrial-sized thoughtfulness packaged in crunchy delight. The chips are for me, the peppers are Dave’s. (that little jar of “cheese food product” to go with the chips and halapenos was an after thought – Claus just pulled that out of his glove compartment ….)
Given that we’ve only met these folks on two other occasions, how would it be that they would feel comfortable bringing nachos to their dinner hosts instead of, say, um, I don’t know…a bottle of wine or some flowers?
Flashback to the first dinner we had with these folks….We are sitting on the balcony of another ex-patriot friend, Marina, enjoying a delicious meal, a little wine, and some “getting to know the new people” small talk. Claus and Andrea have just purchased a house in the valley. Marina is kind of a one-gal, unofficial, welcome committee for newbie foreigners. She graciously invites fun and curious mixes of people together so everyone can meet everyone else – at least once.
So anyway, at this dinner we were having the usual new foreigners get to know you conversation…”why did you decide to move to Italy?” “How did you find this valley?” “how did you find your house?” “does it need a lot of work?” “are you here full-time or a vacationer?”
All these questions were going back and forth when Claus said, “so what do you miss most about life in the US?” David said, rather quickly, “Mexican food.”
This got a huge round of laughter from the entire table of Europeans who thought it hysterical that he would miss something that was from ANOTHER country.
I said that I miss snack chips. “I really miss good chips.”
At this point, Claus says, “well, as it happens, I sell nachos to movie theaters!”
There you have it, Mexican Chips. It’s good to know the right people - people who are willing to cart a case of chips and 5.6 kg of movie theater nacho chilies from Hungary to Italy just to make some folks they met twice feel more at “home”.
We just might invite these folks to dinner again when it's time to harvest the garden chilies grown from seeds from Mary and EarleinDenver.
It's a funny world.