Sunday, August 29, 2010

Foreign Food Run

I went to Itaewon yesterday for my bi-monthly trip to the foreign food store. It really highlights the things I'm missing when I go there. Not that I'm missing any food item so much, but when I see something I haven't had in a while and I used to love, it is almost a biological imperative that I purchase it. Ostensibly, I went to stock up on taco spices. This is because - despite the lack of taco shells and cheese - taco salad has become a staple of my diet. I figure its healthy - I mean, its just chicken and vegetables - and its super comfort food for me.

I ended up, however, with a lot more than just the taco spices. I bought some Kool-aid on a whim because I couldn't remember the last time I'd had it. I also bought some ginger ale which is surprisingly hard to find in Korea. You'd think with their love of ginger, ginger ale would have caught on in some capacity. Maybe they do have it and I just haven't discovered it.

I hadn't realized how much I miss mint flavored things, but when I saw Andes mints on the shelf I had to snatch one. Koreans, for some reason, don't do mint. Also root beer. I don't really like root beer, but it holds a certain nostalgia for me as it does for, I'm sure, every American. In this way I am connected to my countrymen.

Koreans, on the other hand, actively hate root beer. I have never seen it in any restaurant or store, and the only place you can find the flavoring is on imported lollipops. William gave one of these lollipops to one of my students because he was curious about the flavor and why he'd never heard of it before. I was telling him it was a soda in America and he didn't believe me. Actually, his exact words were: "Soda? This doesn't taste like a soda. It tastes like some not-delicious candy." No hearts or minds were won that day.

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