Why Cairo wants you to get fat (Part 2)

In my last post I talked about how dieticians in Egypt suck and actually cause people to gain weight rather than lose it. This time, I would like to tackle another problem that promotes obesity and weight gain in the country.

Think about your outings for a minute. When have they ever NOT involved food? When we go out, we either go to restaurants or cafes. It’s not your fault! The fact of the matter is, you’re going to get annoyed as hell if you try hanging out in a car or a street. Don’t believe me? Try it.

Why am I saying this? Because if you hang out in the street or in a car, you will be bombarded by beggars, conmen and (occasionally) police officers who have a little too much free time. You’re basically in a country where a police man has nothing to do, because he doesn’t really bother checking on things that matter, like crime or traffic. No, no, no, they like to walk up to people peacefully hanging out in a busy street or inside a car and decide to bug them so that they can get bribed and score some extra pocket money.

So your only choice is to go out somewhere, and these places always serve food. Pictures of food make you hungry. Better yet, they may tell you there’s a minimum charge per person so you basically have to eat, otherwise you’re just providing them with an entrance fee.

Considering beating the system and going to a movie instead? Good luck passing by the snack bar and not ordering a large tub of popcorn and a soda. Go on, I dare you.

Image: clubpenguininsiders.com

Image: clubpenguininsiders.com

But wait, maybe I’m being too harsh here. You’re probably thinking, “Just have a damn salad, Mona”, and you have a good point. But here’s the thing; I don’t know about you, but I do not want to live on salad for the rest of my life. What I do is that I try to order other healthy options that are more appetizing. So I may order a chicken sandwich. Good job so far.

I then ask the waiter what comes alongside the sandwich and he tells me it comes with fries. I try to convince him to ditch the fries and just chop up a tomato and a cucumber, but then he goes, “I can’t do that; you will have to order a salad for that to happen”. He’s basically telling me that I’ll have to pay double (true story). So I give up and just tell myself I won’t eat the fries..but how am I not supposed to eat the fries?!

My fingers systematically pick up the fries, dip them in the provided sauce and move them towards my mouth. My mouth chews their fried, heavenly goodness. I then realize my mistake.

Image: cdn3.whatculture.com

Image: cdn3.whatculture.com

Again, assuming all I’ve said above is just a description of how dramatic I am, and assuming you’re some sort of fitness guru who loves eating salads 24/7, restaurants worldwide are still trying to make you fat. Think about how they sometimes serve insanely large portions or extremely heavy sauces. You may think you’re making a healthy choice and instead you’re just shooting yourself in the foot.

You order a caesar salad because, unlike me, you have will power. The waiter then serves it absolutely overflowing with generous amounts of fattening caesar dressing and parmesan cheese. A caesar salad may contain up to 750 calories. Sorry my friend, but you may as well have gotten the burger.

Image: kevii.nus.edu.sg

Image: kevii.nus.edu.sg

I may have depressed you. But look on the bright side; now you know. It’s not a catastrophe; you can fix it easily. Maybe you can eat at home before going out, or maybe you can carry a bunch of healthy snacks to nibble on before you go into a cafe.

You could also pick cafes without a minimum charge and go in and just drink some coffee. In the articles I’ve read before, people recommended asking the waiter to wrap up half your meal before they serve it so that you can eat it later. I haven’t tried it yet, but perhaps you can. I just feel like Egyptian waiters won’t really understand the concept very well. I feel like they will just serve my dish in two plates instead.

Or you can just get carrot cake and pride yourself in finding a loophole.