I don't like being hungry, not one bit. My hands become shaky, I often get a headache, and my entire body goes weak. Then again, I also dislike being full. I find it incredibly uncomfortable... and apparently other cultures would agree. Did you know: in Spanish, it is actually impolite to say "I'm full"? And in French, the phrase is all but incomprehensible. The correct term is satisfecho, rassaié, or, "satisfied." To be satisfied, what a delightful concept. It reminds me of "content," a word often used to replace "happy" in foreign languages. Satisfied and content, I couldn't imagine desiring any other way of being.The other day, I met Leslie, Megan, and Katie for dinner at a trendy-zen Thai restaurant in Soho, Kittichai. The place itself is absolutely beautiful, but from the moment we received our menus, also overwhelming. There was a reasonably priced prix-fixe menu, but it wasn't included in our VillageVines deal ( the reason we chose to dine there). Almost all of the entrée items looked appetizing, but none came with any sides. Having one or two appetizers as a meal was another option, but most of them weren't pescatarian-friendly.
In the end, I ordered the pan-seared Arctic char in a tom yum broth with shanghai shoots. I then shared two sides of wok sautéed gai-lan (Chinese broccoli) with garlic and ginger and charred cauliflower with Leslie. And I had a glass of wine with the meal, obviously. None of us left the table hungry, and still, none of us were satisfied. In an attempt to remedy the situation, we walked uptown to Victory Garden, an artisanal goat's milk frozen yogurt shop I'd read about earlier that day. It was an adorable shop but I only moderately enjoyed my dessert.
Yet I couldn't have been more content. I'd gone from a bad date (did I not mention that earlier?) to an overwhelming meal to a mediocre dessert and it was satisfying because it was all, or rather mostly, in the company of good friends. Fulfilling hunger isn't all about the food. Sometimes it's about trying something new, indulging in your passions, or sharing an experience with people you care about.
P.S. I just started reading Dayna Macy's Ravenous, and so far, so great. I'll comment on it more when I have the authority to do so :).