Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Occam's razor - the simplest name is often the best

Saturday night was the monthly parent's night at the day care.  We don't pass them up unless we're out of town, because otherwise, it's hard to get motivated and organized to decide on something to do, find a sitter, etc.  With the monthly night at the day care in place, the child care is taken care of, and it sort of forces us to get off our asses, get out of the house and spend some grown-up time together.

We had thought about finding a place to go salsa dancing (our rumba skills acquired for the Atlanta wedding are beyond rusty), but the place that seems to be the happening latin dance club is apparently crazy crowded on Saturday nights, plus it's been hot and I didn't feel like spending a night getting jostled by a crowd and sweating my balls off, and last week totally kicked my ass and I was tired.  So we decided to just drop the kids off and walk up to Colfax Avenue and eat and drink wherever it struck our fancies.

We decided on Ethiopian food.  There was a great place in Decatur right near where we used to live that was a favorite, but there weren't any Ethiopian restaurants in Hawaii, so it had been years since we enjoyed that particular cuisine.

There's a little hole in the wall on Colfax that's little more than a cinder-block building painted yellow, red and green (the colors of the Ethiopian flag) and with minimal, primitive-looking signage on the front.  We had always seen it driving past, but quite frankly, it looked kind of scary, like a mob front or something.  So we hadn't gone there yet.

On Saturday we figured, what the hell, we'll walk in and if it looks bad, we'll just leave, no big deal.

Well, it was phenomenal.  Very simple decor, basic formica-topped tables, but the food was astoundingly delicious.

We ordered a combo platter that, according to the menu, is meant for at least 4 people.  Our waiter, a sweet-natured, slow-moving guy said, "Oooooh, that's too much food for you."

"You haven't seen him eat," I responded.

A little while later, he brought out a huge platter of food.  With a twinkle in his eye, he said to Jason, "I think this will defeat you!"

We (mostly Jason) finished the whole thing.  And we had a lovely time, chatting and enjoying the time to just sit and drink beer and hang out.

Oh, and the name of this wonderful establishment?

The Ethiopian Restaurant.

I kept giggling throughout dinner.  Jason asked me what was up, and I told him that the name reminded me of a funny story from high school.

I forget how it all came about, but senior year in New Delhi my friend Kristin and I were hired by an Indian businessman who owned a clothing manufacturing company.  Ostensibly, we were to give him the teenage girl's inside view on fashion, help him with design ideas, that sort of thing.  I suspect that it was just an excuse for him to hang out with Kris, who was (and is) a tall, gorgeous, leggy blonde.  But we went out to his factory a few times and talked to him and gave him some ideas, and in exchange I think he gave us some free clothes.

One time, I think in the car when we were on our way to the factory with him after his driver picked us up, he was talking about an idea he had for an event.  He wanted to know what we thought.

"We could have a bunch of models, maybe you two could participate, and you could demonstrate the new designs.  We could invite members of the press to come, members of the community, try to publicize the company's work."*

Kristin and I nodded.  "That would be great."

He seemed pleased at our reaction.  "Yes, it could be very exciting.  And I think we'll call it..."

We leaned forward in anticipation.

"...'Fashion Show.'"

Indeed, sahib, indeed.  A perfect name.

*For full effect, you have to imagine these words being spoken by a gentleman in a turban, with a heavy Indian accent.


  1. I love this post! You are such a good writer, Wendy.