The holiday continues, introducing the friend to things like non-irradiated cheese, actual lemons, and real dumplings
It started small. Well, comparatively small. A steaming curry at a van vendor, swimming in grease and overloaded with turmeric rice.
What followed was a tour of all the places that still sold unsuitable or unexportable food. Haggis, Casu marzu, Lutefisk. Pizza cones. Powdered doughnut pancake surprise. Death By Chocolate cake.
And now it finished here.
If it wasn’t the birthplace of Unsuitable Food Eat, it was certainly its shrine. A temple of carbohydrates, sugar, theobromine, and all the toxic, acidic, enzyme and biota-loaded consumables that Earth had to offer.
For Rael, it was the closest thing his atheistic soul could equate to holy ground. And then, only because he needed calories like most other life forms needed air.
Shayde pulled a Five Year note out of her wallet and said, “Me friend, here, is goin’ tae try eatin’ yer menu.”
The Gyik behind the counter sized up Rael’s slim build and laughed. “And you, dear lady?”
“Just gi’ me a sharin’ fork. I’ll be fine.”
On the trip back to Amalgam Station, almost torpid with an overload of calories, he asked her. “Why did you do that?”
“Mudita,” she shrugged. “Vicarious glee.” A sigh. “It’s no’ a good holiday ‘less someone goes home happy. Good food an’ loads of it… pretty much gets you there.”
One of the more baffling human phrases crossed his mind. Those who hurt the most, heal the most. He could almost understand it. “So. You gave up on your holiday… and made it mine?”
“Aye.” Her smile came back. Cheeky and playing hide-and-seek on her face. “It was worth it.”