Being bicultural can be a good thing.
Like during Chinese New Year, when there are normally, and I am being conservative here, about 17,000 Chinese New Year/Family Re-union dinners.
And this year you can double that. My sister-in-law is going to East Timor for a couple of years, so she and my cruise ship musician son both had to be bon-voyaged. All up, we’ve had the Chinese feedbag on for a couple of weeks straight.
Wuz gud, lah.
But there was a serious East-Meets-West, food-related niggle.
I have always been happy to try almost any Asian food (including pig fallopian tubes which, trust me, do not taste like chicken).
But I drew the line at Durian, the smelly fruit that is treasured by Chinese more than gold.
In the old days, when I lived in Singapore, my i-laws could only get Durians a few months a year.
So when Durians were in season, EVERYBODY IN SINGAPORE had to buy them, and give them, and eat them.
Despite their insatiable hunger for them, even Chinese had to Durians in moderation, else they would get “heaty.”
And if they ate Durians while drinking alcohol, they would be poisoned and die.
These two points, in and of themselves, are reason enough to avoid Durian, which looks like this.
But I avoided Durian like the plague because they are made up of 10% juice and 90% horrific yak poo.
Well, probably only 85% yak poo, because there has to be a percentage of rotten eggs and natural gas thrown in.
What I mean is that Durians smell like a frat house after Bodacious Bean Burrito night.
Especially, if the fraternity’s mascot — a large yak — had died in the living room after ingesting 200 pounds of ripe cantaloupe.
Look, I admit that I’m being a total gweilo (loose translations: stupid white guy who does not like yak-poo-smelling fruit that will kill you).
Until last week, I had never allowed myself to be bullied into eating Durian EVEN if it was culturally INSENSITIVE or, worse, INAUSPICIOUS.
But this year is the Year of the Snake, the GM Finance’s year.
So when a doctor who should know better threatened me with ruining everybody’s luck, I caved.
I ate Durian cake.
And for the past 10 days or so, my stomach has been the site of a thermonuclear war, which makes me think:
“Auspicious, my butt.”
All the whining I’d been doing on Facebook, for months and months, just today paid off.
My *FAVORITE NIECE IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD (aka Jenny Poo) just sent me a huge C.A.R.E. package filled with TexMex stuff.
As I type this, I am drooling as I think about queso and burritos and OMG.
Then my stomach and intestines go, “GURRGLEGRONK ROWRRRRR.”
It sounds, and feels, like someone is strangling an angry bobcat inside my gut.
This is my stomach’s way of saying:
Listen, butt face. We may just survive the nuclear Durian cake if you keep swallowing Metamucil, Min-Tac, Gaviscon, Colloidal Silver and red wine for at least another week. But do not even think about going for the TexMex or we will kill you.
So here I sit, inches away from a box of mother’s milk, my longed for TexMex.
Yet I can do nothing, but gurgle.
I am still dying down here.
* After our stomach gets better, and we have eaten every single molecule in the TexMex C.A.R.E. box, including the packaging, we will consider amending our Will should the other niece, who shall remain nameless, Kimmy Doodle, load up a container of goodies and send them our way.
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