My cousin texts me and invites me to join him and his wife for a Korean meal. I know exactly which restaurant he’s talking about. It’s the only Korean restaurant in Clifton, and not only do they offer delicious spicy food, but they also serve beer. We walk into the restaurant at 9:30pm and the interior is dark and warm. The electricity hasn’t been working for three days, the waiter informs us, and the fans and light are being run through a generator. We shrug. The beer and great food will compensate for no air-conditioning.
As we order our drinks and meal, the restaurant fills up. No one seems to be bothered by the humidity and the florescent lighting. But halfway through our meal, the whirring of the generator comes to an abrupt halt, and the restaurant plunges into darkness. The fans stop moving and we start sweating. The waiters bring out the candles, and all the guests keep eating. A few minutes later the fans start up again. By this point, my face and my body are drenched with sweat. I take a swig of my Heineken and continue to eat. The food is as tasty as I remembered.
And then, the lights flicker again, and the restaurant plunges into darkness. We persevere, pick at more food, but as the heat becomes intolerable, we ask for our food to be packed.
Outside the nightly sea breeze feels fresh. We stand in the parking lot for a few moments. My cousin tries to rescue the night by trying to find a café, where we can cool off, continue to visit and delight in a dessert. But we are out of luck. The streets are clogged. It’s Sunday night and the city is out and everyone is driving to the water. After several missed tries, we give up. The lesson: Sunday night adventures are doomed.