Monday, January 17, 2011

Carrot Cake - orginally written April 30, 2010

Carrot Cake 
{originally written April 30, 2010}

Ahh, the comforts of little things that make such a difference.

Today at a staff meeting we were served a tiny muffin version of a carrot cake. We haven’t had food at a staff meeting since August. We haven’t ever been served anything remotely like carrot cake before. In fact, I haven’t seen anything like it available anywhere in Colombia. One bite in and my mind was racing to another place. It was some bizarre synaesthetic reaction that took me a world away to a place called home. Oh yeah, that place, I haven’t been there in a while.

I’m now realizing just how much I do miss those little comforts. Although I haven’t liked my job here since I started, I have found things to love: the beach, people, nature, the fruit, surfing, warm weather, birds, geckos, and other animals. But when it comes the time to go home, I’ll be ready.

I miss Oregon. I miss my dog. I miss my family and friends. I miss my house and garden, my neighborhood, and oh good lord do I miss the fresh produce and other local, organic, tasty delights of New Seasons Market.

Who would have ever known something as mundane and innocuous as carrot cake had the power to stir up a whole sensory tornado of feelings.  Perhaps next time at a meeting, if there is food {which there probably won’t be} they should just serve something in the same type of plain and simple category only Colombian food. I’m sure if I were to eat an arepa at a staff meeting back in Portland, I’d have the same type of sensory rush, only in reverse. It would be just as odd for that to happen there as the carrot cake is here. Maybe I’m stuck in a state of metacognition and getting a bit ahead of myself.

There is one thing of which I am almost certain – carrot cake, when I eat it again at home, will once again just be carrot cake. It will not be some kind of mystical Alice and Wonderland type food that transfixes me and transports me mentally to somewhere else. Nope, in the US carrot cake will reside once again as its unremarkable self along side graham crackers and white bread. As for today, it took my mind so far away it might as well have been the liquid in a little bottle with a sign reading, ‘Drink Me’.

Cheers to the power of the senses of taste and smell.


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