Having been a vegetarian since birth, and a fussy one at that, I think I’ve just about heard it all when travelling. Mainly it’s met with utter disdain or incomprehension. Thank god I quite like dry bread, chips and crisps.
This article, 20 of Your Tales of Vegetarian Travel Woe, recently appeared on the BBC website and I had to share, it’s always nice to know you’re not alone. I’m pretty sure I’ve endured similar situations to all 20, but I particularly like number 9 (the entire waiting staff discussing whether the pink ravioli filling is spinach).
This is a typical scene with a waiter, especially in Hispanic countries (with a few more pathetic attempts by me to pronounce something from the phrasebook):
Me – “I’m sorry, I’m a vegetarian.” (I always feel the need to apologise.)
Waiter – “We have chicken.”
Me – “I’m afraid I don’t eat any meat.”
Waiter – “Yes… chicken is vegetarian.”
In Bosnia last summer exactly this scene happened for the umpteenth time. I ended up with a bottle of still water and a small bowl of brown-tinged iceberg lettuce. No dressing. My boyfriend was given a plate of fried meat the size of his head and a legs-worth of beer.
Veggies are not a popular folk.