Published: April 16th 2009
April 7th 2009
CHINESE FOOD IN PODGORICA?!
PREPOSTEROUS. Kung Pao Chicken and Seafood fried rice, if y'please :)
I've never had hot chocolate quite like this.
I stared down into my cup, not exactly sure whether to be amused or bemused. Both seemed strangely appropriate.
Isn't hot chocolate supposed to be drunk? Not...eaten?
I stirred up a spoonful of the fragrant concoction, noting how it refused to spill over the sides of my spoon...like proper liquids were supposed to do.
Or so I thought.
We took our breakfast at the Podgorica central bus station -- adjacent to the train station where we were dropped off -- where I was able to sample a traditional burek with sir and meso (puff pastry with cheese and meat)...and also where I spent a full half-hour grunting and sawing at said burek with a knife and fork.
Somehow I gathered that these things weren't ever meant to be eaten with utensils, regardless of how they're served :P.
Once I'd given up all pretense of genteel decorum, I polished off my burek with my bare hands in less than 5 minutes.
Afterwards, we taxied over to our hotel for the night -- Hotel Philia -- which put us back 150 big ones...for ONE NIGHT. Pretty ridiculous,
walled fortress of Kotor
too bad I was in no mood to make the 4.5-km hike UPWARDS :P
given the fact that it was the cheapest option I could find in Podgorica! BAH.
But at least the room was veeery nice! I was quite pleased :). Actually, more than pleased -- I was positively ecstatic.
I felt like I stepped into a centerfold piece in Martha Stewart Living or something as outlandish as that. It's perhaps the most stylishly modern hotel room I've ever stayed in! Everything looked a whole lot newer and up-to-date than what I've been staying in during the past 2 months -- the TV, DVD player?!, the furniture, even the damned alarm clock looked like stuff you'd get at Pier 1 Imports O_O.
Oh...and did I mention that every room was equipped with its own wireless router? Free Wi-fi, all the time = happy me :).
There were even q-tips in the bathroom! Q-TIPS. In assorted colors, too! When I discovered the shoe-shining kit and the bidet in the bathroom, I felt like I was fit to faint.
Once my mom managed to pry me away from the state-of-the-art TV (which I never figured out how to use...too complex for a simpleton like me to use, lol), we took
a bus down to Kotor, the medieval fortified city...and also one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites!
It's as beautiful as everyone's been telling me...I'm glad I got a chance to see it :D. What would have made the experience more complete is if we actually made the climb up the wall, but I didn't feel like using my lungs as punching bags that day. I've spent enough time inhaling litres of second-hand smoke in my 2 months in the Balkans, thank you very much.
But...the most exciting part of the day was yet to come, unbeknownst to myself.
OMG. I've been talking everyone's ear off about how Podgorica boasts 1 single Chinese restaurant, and dammit to hell if I'm not going to try it before I left Montenegro.
And it was this day, this 7th day of April of the year 2009, that this dream of mine was at least realized.
It felt rather odd to be hunched over 2 cartons of Chinese takeout in our $150/night hotel room...it was like the clash of the Titans or something, lol. Though I haven't used chopsticks in over two months, I shoveled down Kung Pao chicken
um, can anyone spell 'heaven'??
and seafood fried rice with practiced ease, like I never stopped using them. It was that sense of familiarity I never noticed I'd done without these months, one that I miss now.
But I'll say...it's admirable that there's even a single soul in all of Podgorica (an Indian owner, apparently) brave enough to open a Chinese restaurant here, but still...these Montenegrins got NOTHING on Houston Chinese food, sorry :).
There are more photos below