Saturday, September 09, 2006
Another fun part of international orientation was being treated to an "American fare" lunch. This happened on Thursday, where, after several hours of talks, we were taken to experience American junk food. Candy floss (cotton candy), baguettes (Hoagies), popcorn, pizza, snow cones and ice cream were all served up to us with a handy explanation of what they were and their place in American culture. Some extracts:
"Eating cotton candy is only part of the fun; watching it being made fascinates children and adults alike."
"What is a typical pizza topping in your country?" (Bird's custard, naturally...)
"Australians and New Zealanders are among the the leading ice cream consumers per capita in the world. The UK is among the lowest consumers of ice cream" (I can't imagine why...)
The sessions have been quite fun in many ways, though, and the stereotyping certainly runs in all directions. Thanks to arriving in the country with no furniture and very few possessions of any kind, I've been a regular passenger of New Jersey Transit's buses to Walmart (I know, I know) and the massive grocery store Wegman's. In the West Windsor Wegman's you can find a large international food section, giving us pad thai noodles, Caribbean peas and rice, spring rolls, curries and, delightfully, 'European food'. In this grouping there were included things like strudel, malt loaf and a number of other items, but the English representatives certainly held their own - Bird's custard (hence my comment above), Heinz spaghetti hoops and Worcestershire sauce. Needless to say, any yearning I might have had for those items is fully abated...
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