Roy Tang

Programmer, engineer, scientist, critic, gamer, dreamer, and kid-at-heart.

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A couple of years ago, two friends and I were being tourists in Barcelona. With its wide, spacious streets and strangely uniform city blocks, we walked around a lot. During one of our tourist days, we decided to eat someĀ _paella_Ā on the way back to our AirBNB. Who comes to Barcelona and doesn’t eatĀ paella right?

We ended up walking for quite a while. Every time we came upon a new restaurant that servedĀ paella we would consider the price and the restaurant and would think, hey maybe we can find somewhere better or cheaper further along the way. At one point a Pinoy working in a nearby restaurant even overheard us talking about it in Tagalog and he called after us as we walked away. “Dito, mura lang!”, but we paid him no heed.

How could we know which restaurantĀ was the best one until we walked all the way and saw all the options? But walking all the way back to the AirBNB to see all the options meant we would go for a longer time tired and hungry, so that was obviously no good. Even worse, we may find at the end of the walk that the best choice was too far back and we end up with a suboptimal paella.Ā At some point, we would have to decide that “Okay, the _paella_Ā here looks good enough, let’s eat here.”

I thought it was kind of a metaphor for life and choices and such. You can’t know ahead of time whether the options presented to you now are the best you’ll ever get. But at some point you have to stop browsing and overthinking andĀ decide to settle for something that is “good enough”. Sometimes it turns out great, sometimes it ends poorly, but it’s almost always a gamble. Life decisions are only hard if we make them hard.Ā But as long as youĀ made the best decision with your limited information, I think you can always choose to live without regret.

We ended up eating at this small dinerĀ near our AirBNB. It was run by an Asian dude and his family, though it seemed they spoke better Spanish than they did Chinese or whatever. I had the ValencianĀ paella which had meat instead of seafood or whatever (no surprise for anyone who knows my dietary habits.) I don’t know whether it was the best or the cheapestĀ paella we could have eaten that day, butĀ I could tell you it was pretty damn good anyway.

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roytang.net is a personal site; I post about a random assortment of topics that interest me including software development, Magic the Gathering, pop culture, gaming, and tech life. This site is perpetually under renovation.