Why Most People Eat Ramen

Being the human thing that I am, I am always striving to establish comfort where there is chaos. Constantly searching for ways in which to make myself feel balanced, warm, and healthy. Usually this just involves throwing my laundry around my bedroom and sticking dust balls in the corner so I feel more at home, but other times it can involve more dramatic efforts.

Sometimes I wonder if people like myself, should enter into the jarring world of uprooting themselves and traveling, I go through the airport x-rays my normal amazing self, and come out the other end a walking zombie, which appears to have a rare skin disease and two inflated balloon in her cheeks….I think I have decided for this reason, the airport actually physically DIGESTS people, and once you have arrived at your destination, the byproduct is well….nevermind.

In my great attempt to re-ground myself, the first mission upon arrival was to organize every dollar, dime, book, nook, shirt, sock, and winter wear that I own into perfect little compartments and shelves. Next, I attempt to devise a daily routine, while making it appear all the while that I am calm, cool, and couth about not having one. This white lie would be all but believable had I not slept in until 9:00 AM my first day on the job. Let’s just exaggerate the seriousness of this occasion by making you aware that first, I have not slept past 8 o’clock AM since I was crawling on the floor in diapers, and since I skipped right over that stage to be a perfectly poised and potty-trained toddler, it’s been awhile. Secondly, I was supposed to have breakfast and coffee on the table by 8 o’clock AM for the strict, regimented woman I am working for, who had planned to go skiing at dawn that day. At first I thought she was trying to make herself look more ambitious than she is by saying she was going skiing at dawn –I expected we would be up at 5 –but dawn really IS 8 o’clock here!

Needless to say, unlike my usual graceful wake up routine, yesterday, my heart was racing like a drunk person running a race in New Orleans, as in I was confused and barfing and couldn’t even figure out who I was or where I was, never mind run.

Julie was kind and gracious, smiling in the hallway while lacing up her ski boots and said she got herself some coffee and had the cereal I had prepared yesterday. After wiping the sweat off my brow, because I sleep in a sauna, and strapping the bells and whistles on my toes, I began the day. This is how it goes, morning exercise and yoga, stretching as much as noiselessly possible in my tiny quarters. Have you seen the bedrooms on cruise ships? Next, I shower and run into the kitchen to prepare breakfast and coffee.

I know everyone wants to know if I am just making these people my personal favorite power foods like apples and popcorn at every meal, and I know my mom needs some new recipes to work with, so I will tell you some of the foodie details about this venture.

Julie is getting jiggy with and down with eating veggies for breakfast, so this morning I sauteed some Bok Choy stalks with garlic and red peppers into scrambled eggs. I also cooked up some baked home fries (skins on, I know you were just dying to know), and lopped half a croissant onto a plate. Tom is going to have just red peppers in his eggs, but I have to be sneaky because he does not like vegetables and, like me, could easily eat chocolate and wine for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Tom is a fan of OJ and Julie sips black coffee from LavAzza (which in America is gross, but here it brings me back to when I used to drink really good coffee with Liz in college).

Last night, was my first REAL night cooking. It was also my first success at the market, I was able to ask for things I was looking for, and talk to the man at the chicken counter like I knew what the difference between a breast and a thigh is. The only hang up came at the register when I was painfully informed that I was supposed to put stickers on all of my produce, and I caused The Great Grocery Holdup of 2012 as the line of shoppers piled up behind me with fingers and toes tapping…and it was NOT due to Alanis Morissette playing on the radio. I felt like I was in Boston.

Side note: Yesterday while we were out to lunch, I was serenaded by Tina Turner, Alanis, and Lana Del Rey. I am pretty sure everyone loved the fact that I could and did carpe diem and sang along.

At the grocery store, I bought the makings for our dinner which began with a little appetizer practice for me:

  • Some bitter Fern Appertif wine
  • Hummus, olive tapenade, and smoked herring soaked in this really delicious wine with tiny toasts, probably made by Keebler-like-toast-making-elves.
  • Bok Choy and Asian Cabbage salad with toasted, gingered almonds, warm apples, and sweet mustard balsamic dressing.
  • Chicken Dijon clucking away with red peppers, tomatoes, on a plate of tri-colored pasta
  • And for dessert: Multi-cultural (white and dark…was that politically correct?) chocolate covered strawberries.
Apart from making breakfast, dinner, and trumpets for tea time, I have a few other responsibilities including helping Tom check his email, being their ambassador to the modern music world, and simultaneously burning all of their great albums onto my computer. I also have to make sure the chalet stays tidy, which could involve any or all of the following: scrubbing floors, shaking out duvets and quilts, fluffing pillows, washing windows, etc, keeping everything stocked from soap to paper products, and bringing the rubbish to the Poubelle (a name I find rather ironic –beautiful poo??– excuse my temporary regression to age 12 just then).
After my morning tasks are done, and I have ten new albums in my Itunes, I plan to walk, ski, and exercise my way to town, and simultaneously grocery shop, until I am blue in the face. Then I shall come home for a light reading and nap time, take another expedition to the top of one of these mountains and come home to cook, start the fire (the most impossible task so far, despite my years of Apache Indian training).
I haven’t decided yet if I should be getting into trouble in the evenings, or just working on my abs, my pranayama, and the expansion of my brain. Thus far, reading poetry and walking under the stars, which are really not letting off any heat even when I am this close to them, has been far more tempting than going out and partying, so I am just running with that. Although, I was just informed today that I have one night off a week…

I see now how life can take all day to live and why most people just microwave themselves some macaroni and a Weight Watchers TV dinner.
Time to make Tom his breakfast, whip up my grocery list (for which I write down the translations of EVERYTHING thanks to my former, roommate, Marisa) and finish ripping Sacred Hindu Chants, Fleetwood Mac, and Leonard Cohen.
Lest you think I would leave you starving without SOUL FOOD:
The Journey: Mary Oliver
“One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you kept shouting
their bad advice- 
though the whole house began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles
‘Mend my life!’ each voice cried
But you didn’t stop
You knew what you had to do…”
Comically Crazy with Commas,
XO OX
— Emily —
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