I don't know what we were thinking. Lee and I found ourselves in a mostly unfamiliar area of town around lunchtime today, and were looking for a place to eat. There, in a strip mall, was a Korean restaurant advertising chicken teriyaki at a good price. The ad worked.
The restaurant was very small and no frills, but sometimes the best food can be found by stumbling into a dive and taking a chance. There was only one other couple in the restaurant, and they were just finishing their meal. I glanced around for the health inspection report, but assumed it had been near the door and I had missed it when I came in.
While sipping our drinks awaiting our chicken teriyaki, I spotted one. There, crawling across the floor, antennae waving, was a roach. A small roach - but still, a roach.
My stomach lurched and I thought about leaving, but I know in a town like Savannah, roaches can find their way inside even clean homes. Maybe he came in when we opened the door. Yeah, that's surely what happened.
I pointed him out to Lee, we both tried to shrug it off. But not long after, I saw a second roach scuttling across the tile. Now, I was starting to get freaked out, but there was the waitress bringing our food. We were the only patrons in the restaurant, and couldn't have left without being noticed. I don't know why I seem to care more about hurting the restaurant owner's feelings than I do about my own health, but it was obvious the restaurant needed our business.
I pushed the food around on my plate, looking for any sign of antennae. Seeing none, I took a bite. it was good. Really good. I had lost much of my appetite, but still found myself making a dent in the dish.
Until I saw another one on the wall. He was crawling along toward our table, behind Lee. "Lee, there's another one. Coming our way," I whispered. He turned slowly, and suddenly, we were only picking at our food.
I watched the roach as he made his way closer. Soon, he was practically a third guest at the table. Lee got the waitress' attention, and pointed out the roach. "Oh!" she said, then followed in broken English, "roaches everywhere!"
That's not what you want to hear. She continued, "Savannah a cockroach town!" I'm choosing to believe that when she said "roaches everywhere," she was referring to the entire city - not solely her kitchen. She tried to catch the roach with a napkin, but he was no novice. He scurried into a crack under some molding.
I was thoroughly grossed out at this point, and completely on edge. A small fly buzzed by our table, and when the motion caught my eye I jumped. My knee banged the table and Lee's glass of sweet tea rocked dangerously, but didn't spill. "Sorry," I said.
Then the wise roach came back out of the molding, sensing that danger had passed. He was joined by a friend. The waitress reappeared and grabbed one with a napkin. Then she came back, and splattered the other one on the wall with another napkin before cleaning him up and throwing the napkin away. Meanwhile, another worker from the back yelled, "Just spray them!"
We asked for a to go box, which I promptly threw away, and I notified my friends at the health department.
Now, I'm sitting in bed with a slight fever. I'm sure the fever isn't related to the restaurant. Pretty sure. Hopeful, at least.