Thursday, July 12, 2007

Slow Food Nation

Coming from the USA, one feature of Lithuanian culture that strikes me is how many people are relatively close to their ideal body weight. The women tend to be slender, the men chunkier but not so much because of fat, more from playing soccer or from construction jobs. Fewer beer bellies, practically no morbid obesity.

Although I did spy one McDonald's in the center of town, posing as a classy restaurant, for the most part people seem to eat smaller and less fatty portions more slowly. On sunny days, the nearby skateboard park is packed with athletic young boys showing off their maneuvers.

Case in point: the Italian restaurant we invaded last night, as a party of twenty or so geeks, took over an hour to serve up the second dish, so long in fact that Jacob asked for Laura's to be struck from the bill, so late had it become, and so exhausting had been the battle with ctypes or whatever during the PyPy sprint -- she was just too sleepy to tuck in when the food finally arrived (I too almost went face down in my spaghetti, jet lagged that I still am, having spent a pleasant day walking many miles around the city with Mike, a summer intern at Microsoft). But the restaurant management considered this the normal rate of service and refused to comply.

I bet the USA based health insurance companies are chomping at the bit to get a piece of this action, as so many USA homelanders have become uninsurable, are ticking time bombs, given all their mega-burgers, big gulp sodas and big ass fries.

Here, the insurance companies could rack up those premiums, handsomely reward shareholders and top management, build more skyscrapers full of expensive computers, while gobbling up other investments, the way their "reverse Robin Hood" business model (design pattern) is supposed to work. Homelanders have become a liability by this time -- unprofitable basket cases maybe the government should now handle.

fat guy (me) at the "KGB museum"