On Eating

“It has yet to be proven that intelligence has any survival value.”
– Arthur C. Clarke

Call me crazy, but I can now differentiate between the taste of KitKat bars imported from Europe, Russia, and China. Seriously. I just ate one that tasted so Soviet that I nearly divided it equally amongst the people of Bishkek.

On that note, I have reverted to my classic survival K diet: KitKats, Koca Kola, koffee, and karbs. It covers all of the main food groups (except for meat, fruits, and vegetables) and provides a lot of energy. I can easily go an hour between feeding.

OK, no one panic. I am actually surviving (largely thanks to this amazing three-ingredient pancake and my mom’s apple Waldorf recipe) and *dare-I-say* flourishing. I had company over for brunch last week, and I cooked more than coffee.

It was quite the bash.

Food here is pretty different. Please, allow me to walk you through my fridge.

  1. First, I have ten eggs (notably not sold in 12- or 18-packs), still decorated with their mother’s butt feathers. I think it’s charming. However, I do wash before cracking them. If I got chlamydia, the yolk would be on me. *cue laughter*
  2. Beside them, I have strawberry jam in a package that looks remarkably like Capri Sun juice. (I bought the apple cinnamon jam to keep it company, but I haven’t tried it yet.)
  3. The milk appears quite like the milk in America, except this container has a black-and-white cat on it. I’m not asking questions. The milk is not pasteurized, which means that my current carton doesn’t expire until February 2016. Like I said — I’m not asking questions.
  4. The two cartons of coffee creamer (#priorities) are also unpasteurized, but they expire in January. Don’t panic: I’ll be done with them before the end of October.
  5. The top of the fringe is solely occupied by my half-loaf of bread. It was a pleasant surprise to find half-loaves for sale. Since there are zero preservatives in the Kyrgyz-made (ie. non-imported) food, it means that I’ll only have to eat a half-of-a-half-loaf of stale bread. I can now make killer toast in the bottom of my cast iron pot!
  6. The next shelf features three little luxuries. First, a tub of cream cheese. On the scale of “Creamed Cheese” to Philadelphia, it definitely falls somewhere between Cheese Whiz and Chicago — but I’ve had worse. It is a treasure I did not expect to find. Next to it: cheddar cheese. BAM. (If you haven’t read this article about the addiction of cheese, it is really interesting). And finally, a tub of fresh basil. So good with eggs and cheese.

I’ve put out a Zombie Apocalypse Team Application, but nobody has picked me yet. I don’t know why. It’s like playing basketball in sixth grade all over again. Actually, maybe hand-eye coordination is the root of all my kitchen problems too.

Anyway, I owe my family a blog post about my extracurricular activities, but it’s easy to write about food when you’re hungry. (just kidding – right now I’m dipping chocolate bars into a tub of peanut butter. It’s dessert time. On that note, try explaining the difference in pronunciation between “dessert” and “desert.” It’s not easy.)

If you’d like more frequent updates, be sure to follow me on Instagram. It’s the easiest/laziest social media — and hence my favorite.

“We’ll never survive!”
“Nonsense. You’re only saying that because no one ever has.”
– The Princess Bride



2 thoughts on “On Eating

  1. dessert or desert? And how about “good food”? Is it “gu̇d fu̇d” or is it “güd füd”? Explain that to your students. They should have taken Spanish…

  2. Totally get the different tastes of the same things, depending on where they’ve been imported from. I lived in Bishkek for three months and thought that eating double quantities of Russian chocolate was fine because it only had half of everything in it! Also, it was so cold that no matter how much of what I ate (including the famous horse sausage), folks said with some concern that I looked ‘well-cheekboned’, due to the energy being burned off trying to stay warm. Breakfast in a rather grand hotel in Almaty was a particular highlight: http://pgreporter.com/2015/11/15/postcard-from-central-asia-1-almaty-dead-sheep-polo-and-an-encounter-with-kyrgyzstans-finance-minister/

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