Saturday, April 18, 2009

In the Land of Milk and Honey

I am Filipino. Thanks to American Colonial rule from 1898 to the late 1946 and the extended Philiippine-American relations, we Filipinos seem to have close relations with Uncle Sam and all things American. Growing up as a young child, we spent many summer months in NJ, as my parents contemplated migrating to the US during the Marcos dictatorship.

Many years later, I find myself in the US again. Now living in compact Singapore and now an adult, I see the US with different eyes. Driving to Denver Airport, I was in awe of how many trucks I saw parked. All of a sudden every thing seemed to be in large. I went to The Cheesecake Factory with my sister and her fiance. When dinner was served, I was reminded how large the portions were. Going to grocery is a joy, compared to the crowded grocery in Singapore where you can actually be faced with bumper-to-bumper grocery cart action on weekends. Here, I could dance, waltz, and even master the flamenco in the wide spacious lanes. But most amazing were the options. I was stimulated not just by the colors of the produce, but was thrilled to see mushroom varieties I had not seen before. The shift to a healthier lifestyle, with 100 calorie packs of everything from Oreos to Goldfish cheese crackers. Yogurt is now more popular with clever flavors like Key Lime and White Chocolate Raspberry promising only 80 calories per serving.

Last Saturday, my future brother-in-law offered tickets (thanks to his bro, Rob, who is the doctor for the team) to a Philly Wings Game, to watch a lacrosse game. I've never watched any pro baseball or basketball game in the US, so I was game! Watching young men running around in baggy jerseys and a stick was half of the fun. The rest of the experience was surveying and sampling stadium dining. After a few points, my sister and I circled the whole stadium for the famous spicy Chickie's & Pete's Crabfries, a Philly tradition dating back to 1977. The addicting fries are dipped in a cheese sauce. Of course, we had to have a hotdog for the an all-American experience. There was Polish Ice Water. I wondered how different it is from Italian ice, but kids and adults alike seem to like its vibrant colors and flavors.

With the options available, I'm hoping to make wise, healthy yet delicious choices in the next few weeks. I wish to return home to Singapore enriched by the Land of Milk and Honey, but not upsized and larger!

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