Pizza Flavored Shapes. Whittaker’s Chocolate Coconut Block. Holiday Ham & Turkey Pimento Cheese. TRISCUITS!
One cold and wintery evening while living in Australia I drew a nice hot bath, plugged in my computer at the edge of the tub (yes, yes I know this is the start to like 5 different bad movies and that if the computer had fallen into the tub I would have been electrocuted only to change bodies with my Mom or start hearing men’s thoughts or something) and climbed in. Then I reached down and opened a box of Shapes (http://www.simplyoz.com/products/on_sale_-_limited_quantities/arnotts_shapes) and proceeded to eat the entire thing while watching Project Runway. Was this kind of disgusting? Yes, yes it was. It was also totally awesome.
There are similar stories of mine about Whittaker’s Coconut Chocolate while living in New Zealand and certainly regarding HH&T’s Pimento Cheese with Triscuits when I’m back in the U.S.A (similar as in over-indulging not as in eating in the bathtub…that was really a one-off, over-eating while naked is kind of disturbing and really eating naked at all seems gross to me, maybe I am repressed, I don’t know…okay, digressing). Point being, while I am not much of a junk food eater, when I find my junk food that I love I can go a little overboard. Lucky for me, however, the aforementioned junk-food kryptonite doesn’t exist in every country and I have to travel long and expensive distances to get it. However, this does leave a hole in my diet, an inner aching as my cellulite calls out to me in agony, “please, we need you to eat more garbage, we’re shrinking!” Wouldn’t want that to happen, now would we? So, it is only natural that I have found a new junk food addiction here in France.
Now, we have already covered the issue that while France is exceptionally good with food it doesn’t mean that they don’t have their own junk food as well (Exhibit A: https://breadispain.wordpress.com/2011/06/15/perfection-and-the-art-of-junk-food/). And while I find things like apericubes and fully frozen hamburgers repugnant I do have my not-so-secret shame. A shame deeper than apericubes and a little bit gross…crabssdlkjgkdlsjaktlja.
“What was that? I couldn’t quite understand.”
“I wrote: crabstiflubidyblubber.”
“CRABSTICKS, okay? CRABSTICKS DIPPED IN BENEDICTA MAYONNAISE…and a LOT of it!”
“Ewwwww! You mean those plastic tasting things filled with chemicals that aren’t actually crab but instead whatever poor fish was stuck at the bottom of the net that they stewed and then reshaped into crab legs?”
Yep. That’s exactly what I mean. MB was the first one who told me that I should try them with the mayonnaise so we bought them once and I did…from there the addiction
grew. Now, I have to physically stop myself from being lured into the crabstick section at the grocery store (yes, that exists) as the chemically goodness calls to me, “But we are so tasty, we are SUCH a good vehicle for getting mayonnaise into your mouth!” BWAH! Quit taunting me with your siren song, Crabsticks, we all know that I will feel sick after I eat you!
Even MB has his own international junk food shame. If you refer back to Exhibit A, you will see that I introduced him to the world of Kraft Blue Box Mac and Cheese years ago. Ever since then, he now gets excited when shipments come from the U.S. and always wants me to share them with him (which makes me wonder if I should have ever let him taste it in the first place – who wants to share their mac and cheese – Dad, I’m looking at you). So, as a result of our relationship something unnatural has been created, something that could possibly be the first sign of the apocalypse: a Frenchman who gets
excited to eat powdered chemicals cheese?!?!?!?! (Somewhere the French Tinkerbell just
died and there is no amount of clapping that will bring her back. Don’t worry Mme Tink, afterall…it is THE CHEESIEST! Har har har…she’s not laughing.)
But this is one of the unspoken perils of being an expat or in an international relationship, while on the one hand you gain a first-hand understanding of a new culture; on the other hand you gain a first-hand understanding of a new culture. Meaning, when you are living somewhere overseas or with a someone from another country you can’t cherry-pick all the delightful things about the new culture…you get it all – the tournedos rossini and Quick’s, France’s major fast food chain, foie gras burger (check it out: http://www.fastandfood.fr/2012/11/28/le-burger-au-foie-gras-de-quick-revient-en-decembre/). It’s the darker side of the expat life…and for now, I’ll just let you digest that.