In Brazil, a very common kind of fast-food restaurant comes in the form of a por kilo food place.
The food is ready cooked, and awaiting you, kept warm by standing in those "bain-marie" display stands, (like in breakfast buffet bar in hotels, say). You walk around, plate in hand, shovelling whatever takes your fancy, and at the end of the round, you get it weighted, and pay proportionally to how much you ate.
There's one that ever since we lived in Rio for the first time, back in 2004, we've been particularly fond of: Fellini.
We live quite nearby (less so than that first time, but within 10min walk) and go there for dinner at least once a week (now that I come back home from the Maths Department or Institute past 10pm twice a week, I have no inclination to even rustle up a quick salad!)
They recently started a fidelity scheme: you get a stamp in your fidelity card every time you spent more than 15 Brazilian reais on a meal. When you collect 1o stamps you have earn a meal up to the value of 28 reais (you can even have two people using it, so two meals of 14reais).
We have enjoyed our first free dinner last week (who said there is no such thing as a free lunch).
We needed a new card, for the future...
Dr. O went to the till to ask for one, after asking me how to pronounce the Portuguese word:
Cartao de Fidelidade (cartong ye fiyelidaye, with the y pronounce a bit like the Argentinians do the y, or the French the j).
He came back to the table still smiling.
-Sorry wife, I cannot pronounce that word! (fidelidade).
It is not very promising that he develops an aversion to even pronouncing that word. Is it Freudian?
To add insult to injury, while I was cooking two nights ago, he told me: What the eyes don't see, the heart doesn't suffer!
What is all this about? What is he trying to tell me?
(In his defence, I am quoting him out of context, and I am just playing up here).
In any case, as some of you may know (or remember), we recently (yesterday) celebrated our 1st Wedding anniversary (my Spanish-language readers might be sick of reading about it right now). I thought of giving Dr. O a card of fidelity.
Every day, at the end of the day, if he has made me happy, (and that obviously includes staying faithful!), I get to stamp a lipstick kiss in the card.
If the day has been exceptionally good, I can award two or more kisses (not all of them necessarily on the card!)
When he has collected 365 kisses on his card, then he can exchange it for a Wedding anniversary celebration, as it would count for another happy year together (anyone thinking 365 dias de feliz y bendito matrimonio here?)
Since this year, we stayed apart at least 5 weeks (after our honey moon and before he joined me in Rio) we are to have another celebration in about a month and a half (factoring for unhappy days and the occasional conference day, when we were not together).
Still need to perfect the card design and the system. And in the meantime, I like teasing him with his inability to pronounce Fidelidade!