This chicken and rice and everything nice represents a victory.
It represents a battle. Me against the shame of not preparing better Spanish, the fear of making a fool of myself at any restaurant I tried to eat at.
Sitting in my colorful homestay’s room, I could no longer deny that I was intimidated and hungry. But eventually the hunger ate the intimidation.
So I walk the streets of this Peruvian suburb, covetously eyeing any menus with pollo is a scribbled option. I stopped next to one in particular, hovering just far enough away from the restaurant doorway that I could still chicken out and walk past.
But the waitress sees me looking, and before I know it I am seated at a table for two that wobbles at the slightest touch.
There are awkward exchanges. There are blank stares on my part and indecipherable looks from her. I worry I am a nuisance.
But soon enough the table wobbles under the dish of steaming saltado de pollo. And I eat it. And it’s delicious. And everything turns out just fine.
Denae: 1 ; Fear that obstructs experiences: 0
Swallowing fear one forkful of chicken at a time.