We need to talk about…

Friday, June 7, 2013 Permalink

I’ve just finished a post for my diet blog about foods I do and don’t like. Yes… the content there is indeed riveting.

As I went about ‘dissing’ vegies I was reminded of an incident years ago and… as I seem to be in sharing-tales-of my-travails mode, I figured I’d enlighten you all.


I’d been in Mozambique for a few months when I got word that another two Australian Volunteers were coming to town. As the three other Aussies I’d met were in the country’s north, I was excited to have some not-so-familiar-faces around.

L & M had only been in the country for a day or two when I literally ‘picked them up’ at the supermarket. The Mozambican capital, Maputo, had 2-3 supermarkets favoured by we expats, mostly featuring products from France, Portugal or South Africa. I was checking the exorbitant prices when I overheard two white women talking. Neither L or M had lived in Australia for over five years (and during that time they’d been in the Pacific and Asia working as English language teachers) so their accents were not at all broad, but I knew immediately they weren’t South Africans, Zimbabweans or English. So I pounced.

Introductions completed they invited me over to their temporary accommodation that night to dine with them (and spend the night as travelling about the city at night was quite dangerous). Just before we parted, however, they quite pointedly mentioned the challenges of being a lesbian couple and living in a very catholic country – ie. pretending the second bedroom was being used so the cleaner didn’t blacklist them etc.

Point taken and obviously I had no issue with their sexuality or relationship… however… as it turned out that was the least of my worries.

I arrived for dinner and after several wines we settled down to eat. And that’s when I discovered their dark secret.

They were vegetarians.

What. The. Fuck?!

I’m the biggest carnivore out and – at that point – really only ate onion, potato and garlic. I was slowly learning to eat tomatoes and capsicum, but that was it.

Out came veges stuffed with other veges; course after course.

I suspect I was sufficiently tipsy to fumble my way through and probably made excuses as to why I wasn’t very hungry.

God… lesbians, schmesbians. What I really had needed to know was that they were vegetarians. Seriously… THAT was the deal breaker!

Time passed and I can’t remember how or when I eventually shared with them my aversion to all-things-healthy, but we settled into an idyllic pattern. They bought a car and each Saturday took me to the booze shop – which doubled as the money changer –Β and to the supermarket. I (in turn) had them over for roasted potatoes and salsa (more often than not) and videos (having purchased a TV/video player). Indeed, they were like second parents… and the people I talked to almost nightly – during a difficult time in my life.

Almost eighteen months later when I was leaving L & M cooked me a farewell dinner of roast veges (well, potato and onion in my case).

Sadly, though we kept in touch for many years (as they moved from Afghanistan to Pakistan to Liberia) we eventually lost contact. And I can’t help but wonder where they are and what they’re up to.

Has someone ever NOT shared information with you that you would have preferred to know?


  • @Kanga_Rue
    June 7, 2013

    Ha! Brilliant. Love that shock factor πŸ˜‰

    • Debbish
      June 7, 2013

      I was less-happy about the element of surprise!

  • Jo Tracey
    June 7, 2013

    Lol, I’d be the same- the big shock would be the vegan issue! Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

  • Seana - Sydney, Kids, Food + Travel
    June 8, 2013

    Hahaha, funny post. Their secret revealed. I can’t remember on which date my then-boyf told me about beging veggie… it was too late to worry anyway!

    • Debbish
      June 9, 2013

      Oh yes, that would be a problem (marrying someone with opposite food preferences would be a huge issue I suspect)!

  • Neen
    June 16, 2013

    I’m so behind on all my blog reading and commenting. I love this story! Just had a good chuckle πŸ™‚ I sometimes text my friend whose flat mate is a vego just to check if she is also coming for lunch. I always start with ‘If the vegetarian is coming…’

    • Debbish
      July 10, 2013

      Thanks Neen. Now that I’ve been diagnosed as coeliac I’m far more careful to check re people’s dietary needs…

  • Kimberley
    June 23, 2014

    Oh hilaire! Kx

  • Mark @ fullhalfglass.com
    June 23, 2014

    I’ve never met a trust worthy vegetable! Now cows, you can tell ’em anything and they won’t say moo.

    ‘nough said!!!!

  • Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me
    June 23, 2014

    Ha ha now that would be hard if you’re a full-on carnivore! Thanks for the laugh, you have had such a good life hey! And cheers for linking πŸ™‚

    • Debbish
      June 23, 2014

      Oh yes… one of my most memorable meals – for all of the wrong reasons!

  • Bec @ The Plumbette
    June 23, 2014

    Oh man id be the same! Although I do t mind vegetarian meals if they are tasty and filling! Loving all your travel takes Deb! Keep them coming. πŸ™‚

    • Debbish
      June 23, 2014

      Thanks Bec. They all seem so long ago now… Am happily ensconced in good old Hervey Bay. (Though Italy is still my dream destination!)

  • Jess
    June 24, 2014

    That is an awesome story! What interesting adventures you have been on. You really must have an interesting/more well rounded view on life having lived in so many places!

    • Debbish
      June 25, 2014

      In some ways it’s a bit the opposite Jess. I find myself more intolerant and my expectations of people and life here – greater!

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