Sometime back, I happened to attend one of these so-called must-watch English Premier League football matches in a popular bar and restaurant in Remera. Being a latecomer, I found the place teeming with boisterous soccer patrons and noisy fans who had taken sides and were busy cheering their teams on, despite the fact that the match was being held some thousands of miles away.
There was still enough room for standing though, so I pushed myself to the back of the crowd and found a place overlooking the kitchen. As the match progressed, some of the patrons were ordering different types of foods to escort their swallows.
Then an interesting thing caught my eyes. As one waiter jostled his way through the standing mass to clear the table, my eyes keenly followed him, not because I was interested in his white, clean uniform attire but I was salivating at the amount of food that some woman patron had left half-eaten. It reminded me that I had not taken my lunch and the sight of meat swimming in the red soup really woke up my serious appetite.
I could have left him and the dish alone to concentrate on the match, but what the heck; I was eating with my eyes until I saw him place the plate on the counter as he went on with other culinary businesses.
A few moments later, another customer ordered for a similar food and when he came to take the order, my eyes curiously followed him all the way back to the kitchen. That's when I was stunned beyond my nagging appetite.
The waiter carefully separated the previous meat left by the woman from the soup and added it up to the broth that was boiling to be served hot to the new client. As he did this, his five colleagues were laughing and giggling, and they even had a quiet chat that I couldn't overhear due to the noise from the crowd. But from their body language, this was a conspiracy theory they had perfected over some time.
I was soon revolted by this base act, and my hunger went away. Instead it was replaced by anger and revulsion for restaurant foods since this was a matter of robbery in broad daylight. How could such a popular bar and restaurant have such uncouth workers, to say the least?
Needless to say, he served the food to the new customer who went on attacking the meat with voracious appetite, oblivious of what had taken place before.
It got me thinking of many other cases where strange meat have gotten on customers' plates, served by unscrupulous waiters in conjunction with the proprietors.
Although I haven't heard of such behaviour here in Rwanda, this single act alerted me that we should always be wary of what we eat in restaurants since, to be honest, what happens in other countries can find their strange ways here.
For example, in Nairobi, it's no longer uncommon for hot news to break out that some hotel staff have been caught red-handed serving customers game meat that they didn't order, or more revolting, donkey meat!
So as you order for your meat in hotels or bar and restaurants, even under the influence, your taste buds should always be alert. You might be served what you didn't summon the waiter for.
But for this particular Remera bar, it was a premiere action to me and I swore never to eat there, although it might just be that other establishments are also involved in this unpalatable act.