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February 5, 2003

Food Fantasies

Sal, Rich, and Mike gave me a Christchurch primer in McMurdo. Sal demanded a full food report from my first days in New Zealand. The following is from an e-mail I wrote to them, with the subject heading "Food Fantasies."
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Food, for Sal's sake.

Yesterday. I took care of my things at the CDC, checked into the
YMCA around 10 AM, and I crashed. When I resurfaced, I went
downtown and began to run errands. I realized around 4:30 that
I'd better to get something to eat before going into the travel
agency or I may become comotose at the counter. I grabbed the
closest, quickest, simplest, non-fried thing I could find:
poppyseed bagel, toasted, sundried tomato and feta shmear. As
I ate it on the street, I realized this was my re-entry into
non-McMurdo food. An American eating a frickin' bagel, which was
mediocre at best.

For dinner, Thai. Not at Anne's, not at Mai Tai, but at Sala. We
were the only customers. Should be a bad sign, but the food was
alright--although almost devoid of spice. We ate an almost completely
vegetarian meal. It was awesome.

This is what I did today.

I went to the Coffee House. I went inside. When the server
started to fetch a menu for me, I said, "No, thanks, I know what
I want." "Well, that makes it easy, then." "I would like the
salmon eggs benedict." "Eggs benedict with salmon." "And do you
have mango star tea?" "Yes, we sure do." "I'd like some mango
star tea, then, too."

And then, I sat outside. My mango star tea arrived shortly, in a fancy
silver teapot. My eggs benedict arrived shortly thereafter. Actually,
my eggs benedict arrived while my tea was still quite hot, so I ate
the breakfast first. Mmmmmmmmm. Sal, good call. Exquisite. Then,
the mango star tea. Sweet and full. My new friend Erin showed up,
and then Ginny and Ruth, and then Ginny and Ruth left, and Erin and
I sat drinking tea. And tea. And tea. (I had quite a nice pee later.)

Late in the morning, we went to the beach. Erin (glaciologist),
Jen (electrician's helper, waste water), Victoria (comms), and
P.J. (Palmer). Rich asked me recently what I do at the beach.
"What do you do?" he asked. "Put on sunblock and just lay out?"

Today, this is what I did.

I put on sunblock and I layed out. I ate strawberries and grapes and
Toblerone and a plum. I put my feet in the water. I ate bread and
brie and gouda and fresh tomato and fresh basil. I was too full to cut
into the mango or the pineapple. I went on a walk down the beach to
use the restroom, and then I felt much better. I watched the seagulls
harrass each other. I got sunburned.

Dinner was salmon pasta at Dux. The pasta was a little salmony (I know,
I know, it was salmon pasta...), but the Ginger Tom was awesome.

Posted by beth at February 5, 2003 11:10 AM