Thursday, August 07, 2008

The Joys of Blogging

Subtitle: What's with twinkies?

A few months ago, Wandering Chopsticks suggested a food swap. What a brilliant idea, thought I with full enthusiasm. So I started collecting her goodies for her, and she for me. When she asked what I wanted from the US of A, I was a little bemused. Nothing, really. I have discovered that I am a hideously incurious person. This surprises me, because I think I have a lot of intellectual curiousity. I just don't have any need to see or taste or experience particular things. If they come my way, I will investigate them with all the curiousity and abounding enthusiasm (quite a lot) I have, but if you want to know what I have been dying to try, or see, or experience? I don't know. I'm just not really like that. In addition, I have never been to the US, so I do not know what it has, that I cannot get in the UK or Australia. Oh, except for groovy t-shirts without exorbitant postage costs. But I tangentalise.

This is what the wonderful Wandering Chopsticks sent me, and which arrived shortly before my holiday:-

I have been working my way through the box of goodies. Clockwise from the lychee jellies, we have Fudge Shop Grasshoppers, Brussels Cookies, butterfingers, lemongrass, Nestle Crunch, Twinkies, gunpowder green tea and curry powder so I can make some ca ri ga. Somewhere in there too are some loofah seeds. And what's the blue thing drapped over the Brussels Cookies? Read on, read on...

The first thing I chose to eat was the only thing I asked for: twinkies.

My curiousity about twinkies has two origins. The first (not in time) is from an episode of (I think) The Family Guy, in which an apocalyptic event wipes out the world and the family of The Family Guy live on in a twinkie factory; twinkies obviously being impervious to apocalypse.

The second is my awareness of "twinkie" as a perjorative for people of colour. I was so much more aware of racial issues in US and UK culture that I knew the insult "twinkie" and "coconut", before I knew the insult "banana". And if you're not in the know, the common thing about all the above is that they are white on the inside.

The first time I heard the term, "banana" was when a friend in university, laughingly said to me, "Bet you're such a banana you don't even know what one is." Because I did not know what one was, I could have no feeling except perplexity about her comment. My bemused look was enough for her, still laughing, she explained, "Yellow on the outside, white on the inside. I'm one of your few Asian friends, you know."

I think about these terms every now and then. And you know what? I can't get worked up about it anymore. The terms just make me roll my eyes, either actually or figuratively (depends where I am).

Still, I'd never eaten a twinkie, and I have eaten plenty of bananas and coconuts. And I want to taste the thing impervious to apocalypse. Maybe it will make me impervious, too?

There was another good reason for trying the twinkie first: it was pretty squished on arrival. Clearly, cross-Atlantic travel does not suit a twinkie.

I have this to say about twinkies: ugh. No thank you! Awful airy sponge thing on the outside, terrible tasteless but too sweet "cream" on the inside. I could not finish one. (Sorry, Wandering, for the waste.)

I have also scoffed all the lychee jelly things. I miss them from Australia. My mother used to have loads in her cupboard for the kids (and me) and we'd just randomly pull one out, tear off the foil top and squeeze into our mouths. It's not the sort of thing I have in my own household, but I devour it when I find it in someone else's.

The other things are still waiting to be eaten. I have to eat my sweet things in short bursts.

The curry powder has found its home on my overflowing, disorganised spice shelf, and has already successfully fed my friends, who loved ca ri ga. Thank you, WC for the curry powder and the recipe! I did ask for the curry powder, but it doesn't count as American food (per me).

And the blue things? I had told Wandering Chopsticks that I was off to Sweden. So she knitted another beanie and scarf for "her Iron Boy". My partner and I took her directions and went looking for him in Stockholm's Gamla Stan (old town). We did have some trouble, not because WC's directions were poor, but because, well, all the buildings were the same colour, they all looked like grand churches (except the one that looked like a grand palace) and they all seemed to have courtyards.

But we found him:

Wandering Chopsticks writes about what I sent her ...


Wandering Chopsticks said...

Oh my, sniffle, sniffle. My "boy" looks all grown up. ;) The best blogging friends are the ones who will go out of their way to dress a little statue for you. How come Hallmark doesn't make cards that say that? :P

I don't like twinkies either. Way too sweet for me. Norwegian cousin bought a huge box last summer and left half the package behind. I couldn't finish them.

Best quote ever, from an article in Mother Jones magazine regarding Hmong difficulties with assimilation,

"We don't want to create popcorn. Yellow kernels that under pressure, turn white."

Well, I'm sure the exact quote is loads better, but that's what I remember.

Wandering Chopsticks said...

Ha! Speak of the devil. Guess which episode of Family Guy aired today? :)

Anonymous said...

The little knitted things for the iron boy is the icing on the cake. How cool is that?! Welcome back, by the way. I do hope we get to see some vacation pics :-)

Oanh said...

Wandering Chopsticks - I have a slight discomfit about the whole white inside thing. But I'm much too worn out at the moment to articulate anything.

I'm not sure I will survive the apocalypse if I have to eat twinkies ...

Nikkipolani -

I was pretty pleased with the beanie and scarf, too.

Vacation shots, in the next post. Nothing as good as yours, though!

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License.