----------------------------------------------- Google Site Map ----------------------------------------------- Cindy in ...: USA: Fear of Rice

Monday, August 31, 2009

USA: Fear of Rice

One day a couple of years ago, just before returning from a year in Asia, I was walking along a street in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, I looked into a Chinese restaurant and quickly turned away.  I couldn't go in. For over four years, I had spent a huge amount of time in countries where rice is a part of every meal. I'd had rice nearly every day, and for the past year, I often had it twice a day.

Now, suddenly, the idea of sitting down to a Chinese or Indian or even Mexican meal that included rice filled me with a feeling that can only be described as, well, fear. I'd developed a fear of rice!

Kentucky Fried Chicken and the A&W became my favorite restaurants. No rice.

When I arrived back in the US, even hearing or seeing the word made me cringe. I had to ask some of my friends to shift from our usual meeting place, an Indonesian restaurant, to someplace with a different cuisine, like Italian. Raoul, who loves rice, figured my fear was a good reason to eat out a lot, when usually he likes to cook. He had a cupboard full of noodles, so I didn't quite understand his reasoning. Maybe he just was hunting for an excuse, and I provided it.  But I didn't have to face rice.

My next trip would be to Central America, where gallo pinto (rice and beans) comes with everything.  The idea was a little unnerving. After I'd been away from rice for nearly three months, I was able to face my fears and have the Cajun rice at Popeyes.

After a couple of months, the fear returned.  Once I arrived in Panama, it was easy to avoid.  I could get everything here that I can get at home. On a typical day, I'd use the free wi-fi at a place called New York Bagel. I could have a bratwurst for lunch. And on my first night, I ordered a pizza from Domino's.

Now I'm considering a return to Asia. What will happen to me then?Will the fear return? Will I develop a fear of noodles?

No comments: