Today for the very first time I understood the appeal of the “All you can Eat Chinese Buffet.” Never having grown up eating at one of the establishments, I only associated such places with the elderly or the cheap, and imagine them to be places of where quantity might make up for lack of quality. Growing up if we ate out somewhere other than a fast food it was nice sit down restaurant, friendly neighborhood pizzeria or deli style joint, like “Facciola”. We didn’t even eat buffet style expect at someone’s home during the holidays. Yet today I think I finally understood why someone might prefer them to traditional restaurant. It wasn’t the variety or quantity of the meal, but the fact that it was already prepared and just waiting for you to eat it.
Chris and I go down to Taber every few months for Internos, a regional pastor get-together. We usually meet for coffee or tea, and chat about our month and the challenges we are facing in our individual congregations. It is a time for relaxed fellowship and heartfelt encouragement. We then often end our time with prayer and lunch. This year the Lunch time was becoming increasingly daunting to us, as Aay and Zee were often hungry well before we even arrived at the restaurant and there often over-stimulated. Lunch would also then stretch on into the afternoon. The result was that Internos was turning into a draining rather than recharging time.
Today Mike Van Dyke suggested we return to the Hong Kong Buffet, a newish establishment in Taber, were the gang had gone to the previous Internos. It was a revelation. We had food as soon as we went to fetch it, the girls ate for free and by the time Aay and Zee had reached their end point, we already had the bill in hand. It was quiet a relief to discover how good we felt to be heading home at 1:30 pm rather than 2:30 pm. The hour drive coincided nicely with their nap times, and now here at home I have even found some free time to write.
So hooray for the Buffet, for the first time in my life, I might consider returning to one.