17 February, 2009

Breakfast at the IHOP

In the US, a popular pastime is going out for breakfast at a franchise restaurant named International House of Pancakes. Since Americans are inherently fond of saving effort, this has been shortened, even by the restaurant itself, to the acronym IHOP. It is pronounced "eye-hop."

In Bucharest, it appears that breakfast at the IHOP is also popular, at least among the Gypsy population. Except in this case there's no acronym, breakfast literally means "IHOP over the locked gate to your trash can, slice open the bags therein, strew their contents all over the place digging for edibles, and feast on the opposite curb" (see my earliest blog entry).

So one morning I finally had my camera phone working at the right time: here's the breakfast nook all set up, complete with customer:

...and here's the chef, upper left, in mid-climb over the padlocked gate to the trash can, lower right. Within minutes the area around the can was piled with rotted, smelly loose trash and the girls were munching away on leftovers.

Before anyone gets on my case with an attempt at "but they have no choice," recall my earliest entry in this blog which points to sociological surveys that prove these people choose to live this way rather than joining society and working for a living. Therefore I feel neither guilt nor shame in including them among the stupid or criminal factions which provide my blog with endless entertaining material. Bon appetit!

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