Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Spices Anyone?

Maybe I am completely ignorant, but when I saw MSG on the shelf in the spice aisle I was totally taken aback. Do they have this on shelves at home? Maybe it's just the fact that it's labeled as "100% Seasoning." I mean, really, really? Anything could be labeled "seasoning." I seriously do not recall ever seeing this on the shelf at home. Perhaps it's something to research a little more during R&R.

That actually gets me thinking. One of the best things about being abroad is the way in which you start seeing the world around you again, for the first time. You notice things you don't notice at home because you have no choice - everything looks different. For this reason, I have always felt like being abroad enables me to live more, or at least be more mindful of my tiny little place in the grand scheme of things.
DR has been a kind of mid-range culture shock for me. I speak Spanish and every single second of every single day I am so happy that's the case. The Spanish here is abbreviated and slurred and fast, but it's still Spanish. I enrolled my boys in school, I converse with Vilma about every topic under the Sun, I go to the store, I order pizza and I can even tell you off if I really, really have to (although it's not my preferred method of handling a situation). In short, I have been able to make my life work and the adjustments I do have to make seem more doable because language is not as big of an issue. For this reason, I worry sometimes that I will quickly become less mindful and begin to just make assumptions about my surroundings. It may already be happening - Motorcycles swerving the wrong way down a one way street? No problem! Negotiating the price of a pineapple? Bring it on! Two hours to pay the phone bill? Old hat I say! But, poco a poco, when all this starts to seem normal then what? A dash of MSG to spice up my life?


  1. Found your blog from a link on Something Edited This Way Comes. I love you blog title! I am from TX and just gotta have my tacos.

    In Jakarta on our first shopping trip Hubs bought some white granulated stuff thinking it was sugar. Came home, made coffee, poured a cup, put in 2 heaping spoonfuls, took a big gulp and spewed it all across the kitchen. The granulated stuff...Pure MSG. Yuck.

  2. That is horrifying - perhaps mostly because I don't even really understand what MSG is other than a "flavor enhancer." I'm guessing that it did not enhance the flavor of your coffee : )