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Friday, June 21, 2013

A Brief Visit to Greensboro, NC

TGIF! Thank God, It's Friday! Thank God, we're alive and well!

Yesterday afternoon, we drove to the neighboring state, North Carolina, particularly in the city of Greensboro. (We've been to the bordering state before but not at Greensboro, on another route.) Daughter Tintin, who has been there several times, was our guide. As soon as we reached the border, we stopped by at a Visitor's Center/Rest Area where we used the restroom and then to the Center to find out what's in there for visitors/tourists like us. The female employees there were glad and gracious enough to help answer our questions. We got some tourist brochures/materials/publications, including a map of NC. We thanked them for their assistance and hospitality. Then, we're on the road again to our target destination, Greensboro.

Here's our original target plan: to have (late) lunch (or early dinner) there at a Filipino restaurant. Tintin said she attempted to dine there a couple of times but each time she dropped by on Sunday after attending Mass, the restaurant is not open. She thought that they don't open on Sundays which is kind of strange.

Arriving there, feeling hungry already, we were dismayed, so disappointed to find out that the restaurant was already closed, permanently. How did we know? I peeped through the glass window and the lights were off, no people in there, and the place was kind of vacated. No chairs or tables in there, except for that sign of Pepsi and a list of menus, with prices, mounted on the wall. But in front of the building still has the name of the restaurant. We wondered whether they relocated. We asked ourselves what happened? Questions kept popping out: Why was it closed? Didn't it click? Why? Are there not many Filipinos there to patronize it? Was it about the location? Did it recieve a citation or health sanitation violation?  Or was it bankrupt because of poor management or what? Nobody knows.

So, what's next with us then? Tintin directed us to this commercial building a few blocks away from that closed Filipino restaurant. While inside the building compound, with our van parked, we saw this sign that reads International Food Court located inside. Curious of what's in there, we entered the building. Except for one man sitting beside a round table, watching a big TV screen, the restaurant was unpopulated by diners! Was it because lunch time has passed? We were kind of creep out that we didn't bother to ask the man. We continued walking through the quiet lobby or corridor, like a maze, sort of like a scavenger hunt thing, until finally, we saw the sign leading us to the Restroom. But before we reached the restroom there were groups of Asians gathered, sitting, making a buzz like bumble bees. I didn't understand what they were talking. But, we found out later they're Koreans who were congregating, filling out forms, while sitting beside a long table with forms, papers to fill out, maybe. There were a couple of them sort of helping them fill out the forms. Language translators, perhaps? One or two of the male adults seemed curious and kind of suspicious (I guess) why I was standing by the door of the Men's Room observing them while waiting for Freny and Tintin to come out of the Women's Room. My stomach, at that time, was gnawing or growling...begging for food, I believe. (Know what? I took one photo of one group, younger ones like teens or young adults poring over those forms. Well, when my two girsl came out of their restroom, we decided to leave that building.

Finally, we ended up at ZALJ or ZALI Mongolian Grill. What an experience dining there! For buffet, you have select and place them in a bowl the different ingredients, i. e., fresh sliced meat (pork, beef, shrimps) and/or seafood like fish, shellfish, and different vegetables that you want your food to be grilled. On a separate small plastic container, place the sauce or flavoring that you want for your food. Then give the bowl with mixed ingredients to the cook or "griller." The cook gives you a number and tells you to be seated and wait for your food to be served. The first food that was served to me, OMG, smelled and tasted burned! I wasn't really happy, separating the burnt food from the ones that aren't. You know what, my dear folks and friends, I hate to complain and to waste food. That's why I tried to just chewed and swallowed selective food items from my dish. Freny and Tintin kept on bugging me to have it replaced. I continued separating or salvaging whatever food I could eat out of my bowl of grilled food. I was half-way with my food, and the two kept convincing me not to continue eating it. Two female food servers were aware of it because I showed them the burnt grilled food that I placed on a table napkin (when they asked me how's everything about my dining there so far). Freny volunteered Tintin to get another bowl of raw food to be grilled for me. So, she did. Instead of rice (fried or white) to go with it, she suggested noodles, like linguini, similar to what she's eating at that time. But, of course, the second food was much better, this time. I was contented. I thanked the server. She apologized for the first food I had. Then, we had dessert of fruits like grapes (they're sweet!), cantaloupes, melons, and pineapples, nibbler sizes, of course.

Paying time came. The female server handed us our bill. She said the manager gave us 10 percent discount because of that first burnt food I had. I thanked her for that. At the bottom of the bill ticket, I wrote: "P.S. Thank you for the food and the service." Plus I gave the server five dollar as her tip. For the three diners that we were, overall, I paid $36 plus, including tip.
Not bad for hungry diners like us. But, with that unforgettable experience I just had, I have a reason to write about it on this blog post that you, my dear folks and friends, are reading right now.

Well, from that restaurant, we roamed around that part of the building...used the restroom again. Noticeably, the building seemed vacated because the corridor or lobby was so quiet. We didn't see stores inside, except for an office. So, we got out of that building and walked our way to another building (Super G Mart) where we bought groceries. Lots of international food items there...Asian and European, too. Inside, there was this Flea Market, too. But it was kind of late for us to get in there because the stalls were closed. We saw a couple of stores that were still open though. Now, everything gets clearer to me. That business area, we now realized, has a high population of Korean clients/customers. Well, that's our observation.

Time to go back to D-ville...On the road again...munching some goodies from that super market/international grocery store. We had a good time, after all...We'll surely go back to NC again, to another city, most likely. Personally, I'd like to visit educational institutions of higher learning and other historical-tourist spots. Anyway, here are some photos I took yesterday about our trip to Greensboro, NC. Quite interesting, that's how I summed up our short visit to Greensboro, NC.

It's time to sign off now, guys. Thanks for your company. Until next time around. Take care and have a wonderful day, everyone! As always, I pray, "May God bless us and keep us all safe from harm!"-chris a. quilpa, 21 June 2013

Here is the consummate wife Freny! She can drive you anywhere in the world (for as long as she has that GPS installed on the car). She can even drive you crazy like what she does to me. Joke only!

The four succeeding photos below were taken at Tintin's. I took them while we were getting ready on our road trip to Greensboro, NC.

 The picture above shows the burnt food that I isolated or separated and placed them on display on a restaurant table napkin.
 Here's the second food that was grilled for me...a substitute for the first that was burnt.

The photo below shows the supermarket/international store where we did most of the grocery shopping in Greensboro, NC.
                             Photos (c) 2013 by Chris A. Quilpa

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