TRAVEL THERAPY #2:
Goodbye to Yesterday
“I can’t go back to yesterday because I was a different person then.” LEWIS CARROLL
Joining my husband on his recent business trip to Cyprus ranks as one of my best decisions ever.
I SO needed the stimulation. And, Cyprus delivered…ancient history, warm people, and amazing food. The experience was rife with dichotomies. Our cultures were similar, yet so very different. The world feels both smaller and more spacious.
Did I mention the food??? Simple, healthy and delicious. FAR superior to American cuisine. My search for the ultimate bottled salad dressing is OVER…because there will be no more bottles. From now on, it’s homemade salad dressings for us. I’m rattled about the culinary rut that I—and so many Americans—have fallen into. We’ve been brainwashed to believe that grabbing something pre-made off a shelf that’s packed with unpronounceable ingredients] is saving us precious time. Is it really? And, if so, at what cost? Lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper, and a minute is all it took me to get out of the salad dressing rut. Not only is this healthier, but it’s cheaper. And, those jars of pre-made sauces that we drown our chicken and fish in? Absolutely unnecessary. Fresh herbs, spices, and more of that olive oil is enough. Things will definitely be changing in my kitchen.
There was a specific moment on the trip that made me aware of another rut I want to avoid. It was a shameful [and sadly familiar] display at the car rental counter when an American “gentleman” boorishly broadcast his disgust with the lack of cars with automatic transmissions. After berating the rental agent for a full 10 minutes (I clocked it), he huffed away dragging his mute wife with him.
I was not proud of my culture in that instant. This mindset that the “American way” is the right way and that it’s the world’s responsibility to cater to us is disgracefully arrogant. In the past couple of weeks, I have had numerous conversations that have given me a glimpse into different and equally valid political and social perspectives and ways of doing things. It’s time for me to grow up, get a mind of my own, and start questioning all the “truths” I’ve been taught.
I feel revived…and, hungry for more. Now that I’ve had a taste of the exotic, I believe I’ll have a second helping. Not that a reason is required, but we do have a milestone anniversary approaching.