For those who are not aware of my quirky eating habits, I am immensely fond of cheap tacos . Every Tuesday I eat at a particular restaurant in Beaverton, between where I work and where I live, and their claim to fame, at least as far as my dining preferences are concerned, is $1 tacos, with no tomatoes. I am a particularly simple eater; I like my food plain and with a minimum of fuss. This has been the way I have eaten all my life, and I strongly suspect it will not stop anytime soon. Even more than most people, I am a creature of habit, and if I enjoy many types of food, my tastes within them are fairly uncomplicated at least by my own standards of complication. So, what I do on a day like today when my normal habit runs up against a festival celebrated in the United States especially for its drinking .
Normally, when I go to my Tuesday restaurant, I sit at the bar and drink tea and eat tacos. I do not order any alcoholic beverages, and I know the regulars, we recognize each other, and occasionally we talk. For example, one of the other regulars I talk to was a fellow I sat beside today, and he is an Iranian immigrant educated as an engineer who sells cars for one of the dealerships in town. He doesn’t appear to be married, at least given the fact that he spends even longer at the bar than I do and doesn’t talk about romantic relationships at all. It’s fairly easy to notice when someone is conspicuously silent about relationships, as it’s usually a good sign that the subject is not one they like to dwell on. At any rate, given the incidence of alcoholism in my family background it is not surprising that drinking is exceedingly rare for me. What is more surprising is that I spend time at a bar in the first place.
The reasons for that are somewhat interesting. At some point during college, I realized that I don’t read very well by myself in my room. This had not previously been an issue, because growing up I always tended to read in the living room or what not, but when I went to college and found myself in the dorms, it was a bit of a shock to realize that I did my best reading in somewhat social environments, even if I was not interacting very often with others in that environment. It was a habit I indulged in somewhat often, especially during my undergraduate studies and my second master’s degree, as it was an entertaining sight to be sure for me to be eating at some place staring at a book. It is a sight that many people are used to in the Beaverton area. Just keep the iced tea or water coming, as I have a book to read. I don’t know why I’m a social reader, which is one of the most odd habits someone can have, given that reading is one of the least social activities around, but I am a person of many quirks, and that just happens to be one, along with the fact that I really dislike eating alone.
So, what happens to my usual habits on a nominal holiday. For one, I manage to snag great parking because I’m more observant than most of the people around me, who may or may not have been drinking already. For another, I keep my nose buried in a great book about medieval history , even if the place is crowded with people eating and drinking and even some live musicians while soccer plays on the radio and the waiters and bartenders fail a predictable stress test. Meanwhile, of course there is no taco deal, so I eat some chicken fajitas with veggies for a change, and when my book is done, I pay, and leave, and find someone waiting to snag my excellent parking spot so that they can eat and drink for a Mexican holiday better known here than in Mexico itself. And that does not bother me at all.
 See, for example:
 See, for example: