Thursday, April 28, 2011

What's With the Royal Wedding? ** EDITED **

I was just watching one of the myriad shows on the upcoming nuptials of Prince William and Catherine Middleton.  My son rolled his eyes and said, “I don’t get all the hubbub over the royal wedding.”  Well, for starters, you’re a BOY and BOYS just don’t get it.  It’s a GIRL thing.  I sarcastically replied, “I don’t get all the hubbub over video gaming.”  He nodded and said, “Point taken.”  Live and let live, my dear.

There are a lot of Americans who don’t get it either.  There is so much bad news these days: jobs, gas prices, medical care, wars … why the heck would we care about a foreign royal wedding, on which is being spent millions and millions of pounds which could be better spent to help the unemployed and homeless?  I submit, is it any sillier than people demanding that the President of the United States show his birth certificate to prove that he is qualified to hold his office?  (I feel my adrenaline starting to surge, so I will leave that circus for another post). 

We first landed in England in the summer of 1970.  We got to our hotel (The Churchill) and all three of us girls were hit hard with jet lag.  We begged our mom to let us have a nap, but she was bouncing all over the place, waving her arms and squealing, “We’re in LONDON!  You can’t SLEEP in LONDON!”  But after a few more agonized pleas, she agreed to let us sleep for TWO HOURS.  ONLY TWO HOURS!! 

I woke up, out in the hall.  I was prone to sleepwalking back in those days, much to my dismay.  The problem now was that I had no idea what room we were in.  My mom and sisters were still snoozing soundly, and apparently hadn’t even heard me leave.  I was disoriented and scared, not knowing which way to go.  The tears came quickly. A kindly chambermaid noticed my plight, and offered her help.  She went all the way down the hall, unlocking each door one by one, until we finally found our room. 

That afternoon, mom hired a car to take us on a sightseeing tour.  It was pouring down rain (go figure!) as we drove by the Tower of London, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament.  Somewhere along the way, we got a puncture* and were herded into a small coffee shop while the driver got it fixed.  I’ll never forget the wet smell of that place, with the commingled fragrance of teas, coffees and pastries.  During our two years in Brussels, we went back to London a lot. 

Mom and I went back to England the summer of 1977, to stay with a British friend, Judith, whom we had met in Manila.  Through her connections we got tickets to Wimbledon, and access to “Centre Court” where England’s Virginia Wade played against Betty Stove of the Netherlands.  (Wade won that year).  In the crowd milling around the outer courts, I brushed up against John McEnroe, back in the day when he sported a huge frizzy afro and a headband. 

1977 was the year of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee.  Judith, who had a friend in the British Foreign Office, got us seats to watch the Trooping of the Color.  We could see the Queen reviewing her regiment on horseback, although from our vantage point in the Admiralty Extension building, she was about the size of a fingernail.  We were privileged to use the Queen’s toilet paper, which is about the same consistency as sandpaper, but elegantly imprinted with the crown. 

I spent the summer after high school in graduation living with Judith as the nanny for her two children.  I was completely at home on the Underground or on a double-decker bus, and negotiated my way through the city like a native.  I even had a summer romance with a dishy British guy named Patrick (of course!).  He drove an orange MG Midget convertible.  Swept off my feet much?   

I adore all things English, the crooked little houses, the thatched roofs, the pageantry, the quirky sense of humor (Monty Python is ingrained into my DNA).  I love how they can swear without making it sound obscene.  I love their silly tabloids, which put the National Enquirer to shame.   I love how they call the Queen “Brenda” and scoff at the silliness of all that royal stuff, but deep down, I know they love and cherish her.  Judith makes jokes about “Brenda” all the time, but she proudly relates how she actually met her twice.  I got up in 1981 at 4 a.m. to watch Charles and Diana’s wedding, and sat sobbing in a heap on the floor watching her funeral in 1997.  I will be up tomorrow morning to watch William and Kate marry.  Call me silly, but that’s just the way it is.  Sue me.

So why all of "my" hubbub over the royal wedding, you ask?  It’s because I am a Brit by osmosis.  And frankly, I just can’t wait to see the dress. 


Hi yall, I'm one of the British kids that Liz nannied for back in 1977 (!!!) (FYI she was extremely irresponsible and in her bid to have a summer romance with the suave and sophisticated Patrick Holman, bundled me and my brother up into the boot (trunk) of a car and took us to a party. I still can't listen to Dancing Queen without being taken back to the 4 year old me trying to get to sleep in a strange house whilst the grown-ups partied downstairs to the thumping disco beats of ABBA - God only knows where my mother was!) 

Anyway, back in 1981 I was a 7 year old primary school child who was completely swept away with the romance of Charles and Di. As I grew up I began to realise that the British Royal family are an outdated, anachronistic drain on our economy. However, I still cried when Diana died and felt a real loss when she was no longer the daily cover story of our tabloid press. When William and Kate got engaged I rejoiced when the public holiday was announced, but thought that I would show no more interest in it than that. However, as the day has approached I have found myself getting more and more excited and have even invested in some paraphernalia (see my profile pic). 

I am now a primary school teacher myself and have spent this short week at school trying my best to recreate my 1981 Royal Wedding experience for my class. This week we have been making our own commemorative plates, writing wedding lists, practising our names on copies of the invitation (they are 4/5 year olds), and today we have reenacted the wedding, with two small children dressed in a wedding dress and a soldier's costume and Pomp and Circumstance playing in the background. We waved flags, put up Union Jack bunting and I asked my Head Teacher to judge the commemorative plates and gave a really crappy and cheap commemorative plate as a prize. As many of us girls do, I love a good wedding, but I am totally surprised at how I have been swept along in the national hysteria linked to tomorrow. I am going to be up early to drive to another city so I can watch it with some girlfriends and marvel at the tree lined aisle in the Abbey (yes, really, if tabloid news reports are correct). The strangest thing about it is that I'm not even trying to hide my fascination as some kind of guilty pleasure - it is out there for all to see... What is it about the Brits and the Royal family???? -- CLARE PRICE

*flat tire

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Rose Colored Glasses

Thus far my blog has been pretty squeaky clean and happy, happy, happy.  Reminiscing about the “good old days” and wasn’t living overseas great?  Look at all the cool stuff we collected!  Look at all the great food I got to eat!  Look at all the famous people I saw.  And look at me, I am so global and open minded! 

I once read an article in Denizen Magazine that compares being a Third Culture Kid to being a victim of Stockholm Syndrome.  You know, the old “falling in love with the kidnapper” theory that we all learned about from Patty Hearst?  From the safe vantage point of the present we TCKs fondly remember our past lives (i.e. our kidnapper) as romantic, exotic and exciting, when in actuality there were many difficult times during our "captivity": loneliness, isolation, and grief were a big part of our lives.  Unrequited longing to belong somewhere, to be "cool".  To not ever have to be the new kid at a school, to live in a house for longer than a few years, to have friends that you’ve had since you were in preschool.  To not be constantly ripped away from security and stability, short-lived as it was.

Yes, I admit that I am guilty of looking at the past through rose-colored glasses.  What I pretend not to remember are the days spent sobbing in my room, wishing that I wasn’t alone.  My parents, either still in the throes of their grief over my sister’s death, or, being from that “laissez faire” parenting generation, left me alone a lot.  Most days I came home to an empty house.  School in Manila got out at 12:45, so that left many hours in the day to be miserable.  I poured my angst into multiple volumes of diaries that I still have and have lugged around all these years. 

I mentioned before that I was the girl who sat in the girls’ room during breaks, not knowing what to say to the crowds of laughing people in the student lounge.  In my senior year, after finally feeling like I belonged a little bit, I was blindsided with the news that we were moving to Singapore.  In December.  It was life interruptus.  You know, the sound of the needle scraping off the record as it comes to an abrupt stop?

I begged, I pleaded to be allowed to stay.  It was only FOUR MONTHS!  To no avail.  We left the day after Christmas, and the nightmare started all over again.  New kid, new school.  Being alone at lunch.  My mother remembers me crying and crying, begging for help.  I felt so utterly alone, bereft.  And from her, I heard, “Stop feeling sorry for yourself!”  Now I understand that she didn’t know what to say to me.  She didn’t know how to help me.  No one did.  I once confided in the guidance counselor in Singapore how miserable I was, only to feel more miserable for having told someone about my pain. 

Sometimes I am asked, “Did you like living overseas?” It’s a hard question to answer.  No, I was miserable, lonely and depressed.  Gee, what a great conversation killer!  Isn’t it better to say, “Why yes, it was quite enriching to visit Paris every weekend”.  But wait … that is a conversation killer too!  They are thinking, “Well la-de-da!  Aren’t you special?”  What awards do we win when we speak about our upbringing?  A gold-encrusted blank stare?  A brief moment of superiority, followed by the abyss of disconnection?

It’s a dilemma.  What is your right answer?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Brushes With Fame

In my travels I’ve had a brush or two with famous people.  Some really famous, some not so much.  I remember standing in line at the airport in London with my parents.  My mom turned around, eyes popping, pointing and gesturing to the man in front of her.  She mouthed silently: “That’s Cary Grant!”  The film legend was standing in line just like normal people, dressed much like my dad in a businessman’s uniform: gray slacks, white shirt, navy blazer.  I bet he put his pants on one leg at a time, too.

We were staying in a hotel in Baton Rouge on home leave one year, and Michael Jackson’s entourage occupied the entire floor beneath us.  There was a knock on our door, while my mother was changing into her nightgown.  My dad opened up and found a very large security man who was investigating the floor, making sure that we were not threat to the King of Pop.  One look at my mom in her granny nightdress assured him we were safe.  We never saw Michael himself, but just knowing he was there was quite a thrill.

My sister once got on an elevator in Tokyo with The Lettermen.  Yes, I see your blank stare: they were a pretty big pop group in the 1960s, enough to make a teenage girl riding in an elevator with them pretty darn excited.  They performed great hits like “Sweet September” and “I Only Have Eyes for You.”  I know, sounds like one of those cheesy Time-Life collections sold in the middle of the night on QVC.  But I know there are people out there who have heard of them.  Okay … moving on …

In Manila, we had a driver who was lucky enough to chauffeur around in our 1972 Buick LeSabre, the land yacht of the 70s.  Most of the cars in Manila were tiny little Toyotas or Datsuns (yes, that is what they were called before Nissan), so that tank really stood out.  On the way to pick me up from school one day, our poor driver got into a fender bender with the driver of BongBong Marcos.  BongBong was the son of President Ferdinand Marcos.  BongBong is now a Senator in the Filipino legislature. 

One of my favorite movies is called “Bridge to the Sun”.  The film was based on a book by Gwen Harold Terasaki.  Gwen, a southern belle from Tennessee, met and in 1931 married a Japanese diplomat named Hidenari “Terry” Terasaki.  When World War II broke out, Terri, Gwen and their daughter Mariko were sent to Japan.  The story of the beautiful blonde American living in wartime Japan was gripping, and I have read it over and over.   The movie starred Carroll Baker, and the little girl who played their daughter was a friend of my sister’s at the American School in Japan.  (She is the one who tricked my sister into ordering “two hot breasts” from room service!)

My other sister, Lisa, had a friend at ASIJ named Linda Purl.  Some of you may recognize her as the TV star who played Andy Griffith’s daughter on “Matlock”.  I’ve spotted her in several made-for-TV movies, and I believe she was on “Happy Days,” playing the Fonz’s girlfriend.  Her parents were very involved with the arts in Tokyo.  The cast of the movie “Oliver” arrived for a publicity tour in Japan, and Linda Purl invited Lisa to come to a party to meet the teen heartthrob star, Mark Lester.  I was furiously jealous and was dying to tag along, but as usual, I was the little sister left behind.

I’m sure none of these experiences is particularly earth shattering, but they are my experiences.  How about you?  Any brushes with fame in your globe-trotting lives?   

Thursday, April 14, 2011


In case you hear crickets chirping in my blog it's because I'm leaving tomorrow on our "excellent adventure".  Stay tuned ... I'll be back.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Sun Has Ris', the Sun Has Set ...

This weekend I am going to hit the road with the three youngest of my children.  We are driving from North Carolina to Louisiana, and then to Texas.  We haven’t even pulled out of the driveway yet, and they have already started whining and complaining.  My teenaged daughter has announced that she’s not going, that she won’t have time to spend with her friends over spring break.  I’m imagining myself at that age, being told “We’re moving to the Philippines,” and saying “I’m not going!”  Oh, the reaction I would get! I’m going over my mental checklist to keep the peace: portable DVD player, headphones, library of movies, books, video games, pillows, snacks.  I’m trying to think of a system to rotate the kids through the front seat that doesn’t involve “calling shotgun.” I’m considering wearing earplugs to keep myself from imploding from the squabbling. I can already hear myself yelling “Don’t make me stop this car!”

Every summer we came back to the states for home leave.  Each trip was a familiar ritual: shopping for clothes at Sears Roebuck for the coming year and visiting family.  We would traverse the state of Texas (my parents’ home state), from Houston to the Panhandle.  We would stop to see Grandma & Grandpa in Pampa, Granny in Dallas, and Aunt This and Uncle That in San Antonio, people about which I only had distant memories.  We would get the usual “My how you’ve grown!” and pinched cheeks.  We had fun playing with our cousins, walking to the Pak-a-Sak for orange push-ups and Icees. We walked barefoot, hopping over the hot asphalt, and poking our toes in the oozing, melting tar that bubbled up between the cracks.  Walking through the grass I would get stickers in my feet.

Anyone from Texas knows the old adage, “The sun has ris’ and the sun has set, And here we is, in Texas yet.”  This probably originated in the days of the covered wagon, when Texas was as big as a continent.  However, it applied pretty much the same to me, stuck in the back seat with my two sisters, driving mile after mile over endless highways. 

My mom didn’t believe in stopping for fast food, and our trips always involved a picnic lunch at roadside parks.  We would sit at filthy concrete tables, with the hot Texas wind blowing in our hair like the fans of hell, eating Devilled ham sandwiches with Gulden’s mustard, hard boiled eggs and tomatoes.  I can still picture my dad driving our rented Pontiac, his hand resting casually on the top of the steering wheel.  When we stopped for gas, he would always get out to supervise the attendants (remember when there were attendants?) and do the oil dipstick himself.  He would buy a bottle of Delaware Punch and drink it with one foot propped on the fender of the car. 

Having the bad luck of being born last, I always had to sit in the middle.  I sometimes tried to stretch out on the floor, but the hump made it a little difficult.  Occasionally I would attempt to sleep on the shelf behind the back seat, until the sun started to bake me through the window. Reading in the car made me nauseated, so I to pass the time gazing at the scenery.  I would watch as we passed vast, flat fields of wheat, or corn, with slowly kowtowing oil derricks scattered throughout them.  We usually arrived at our destination late in the evening, and I would wake up from an uneasy sleep as we pulled into the parking lot of the Holiday Inn. 

I suppose each generation says the same thing: “Young people today …” We’ve all heard the same refrain about walking ten miles to school, barefoot, in the snow, uphill both ways.  Yesterday as we discussed the trip, I heard the voice of my mother coming out of my mouth: “When I was a kid, we didn’t HAVE DVD players in our car!  We had to read BOOKS! And play license plate games! And sing SONGS! Heaven forbid!” 

Being TCKs made my sisters and me more patient with change and adversity (although while I wouldn’t call a long car trip adversity, my kids probably would!)  Not only did we endure the long summer car trips, we sat on planes for hour after hour while we crossed oceans.  We sat, dirty and jet lagged in airports when flights were delayed.  We never uttered the phrase, "I'm bored!" We walked, bleary-eyed, through strange new cities, knowing that they were our new “home”.  Disoriented, we found ourselves immersed in places where people spoke strange languages and had weird behavior.  We were taken to new schools, dropped off with a pat on the head, and expected to fit in.  So, yes, it makes me want to scream at my kids, how easy you have it! even though I know it will fall on deaf ears.  I am simultaneously angry with and envious of them. 

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Apocalypse Now ... and Then

It was sometime in the mid-1970’s.  I was sitting on the front steps of my house in Forbes Park, Makati, Manila, one clear afternoon, when a virtual flock of Huey helicopters flew directly overhead, heading south like angry, acking raptors looking for a meal.  Later I learned that Francis Ford Coppola was filming his iconic movie, “Apocalypse Now” in the Philippines, and these helicopters were being borrowed from the U.S. government.  Many of the young men at the International School took an entire month off of classes to be extras.  They came back with heads shaved and several thousand dollars in their pockets, and the knowledge that they had participated in a piece of film history.  In the scene where the cavalry lands on the beach, there is a quick shot of a boy being forced out of a helicopter, yelling, in the midst of the chaos, “I’m not going! I’m not going!”  That’s Alan Penner … a guy I knew! 

Let me introduce you to Steve Valley, one of the extras.  Like many of the soldiers in the crowd scenes, he is a TCK.  His father worked for Lockheed, under contract to build and maintain the C-130 cargo plane.  His work took the family to Saudi Arabia, Tripoli, Libya, Manila, Venezuela and Hawaii.  Steve learned to swim in the Mediterranean Sea, learned to speak Arabic, and got used to the call to prayer broadcast five times a day over loudspeakers.  Fields trips from the Oil Companies School were to Sabratha and Leptis Magna, the oldest ruins on the planet.  Family vacations were to Malta and Tunisia.  The local bread was delicious, candy was from Europe and garbage was burned across the street.

In Manila, life was good.  Maids, drivers, and cooks were the norm.  Like me, Steve was given an inordinate amount of freedom.  Bar hopping, partying and disco dancing was the activity of choice over the weekends.  We drank beer and liquor and lived like little adults.  The only limitation was the government-ordained curfew from 1 a.m. to 4 a.m.  It was easy to get around the city, either by cab or Jeepney, in a mad dash to make it home in time.  It sounds like a sybaritic paradise, but Steve says it taught him responsibility, and kids were trusted to do the right thing. 

But one experience stands out above all.  Steve waxes nostalgic when he talks about his time on the set of “Apocalypse Now”.  He remembers Coppola as being “hell with the megaphone”.  There are memories of long hours spent waiting for a shot to be set up, pouring down monsoon rains and less than ideal (make that miserable) living conditions.  There were open-air toilets, set-busting typhoons and being rescued by the Philippine Army after a storm stranded the boys for two days in an old schoolhouse.  He remembers hanging out with some young guy named Larry Fishburne, 14 years old at the time, Steve wishing all the time he could hang out with a “bigger” star like Martin Sheen.  Sheen did eat lunch with all the boys one afternoon … they were all tongue-tied in his presence, until they figured out he was just another guy with teenage sons.  While they expected the big star to be aloof and lofty, he was actually very cool and willingly signed autographs. 

Robert Duvall, on the other hand, lived up to his megastar reputation.  There was a moment before the shooting of the famous “I love the smell of napalm in the morning” scene, where Duvall was sitting on a folding canvas chair.  Someone whispered “That’s Robert Duvall.  He was in that movie, ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’”.  Another boy replied, without whispering, “Oh yeah, I recognize him.  He was that retard who hid toys in the tree.”  Duvall turned to look at the boy, squinting and frowning at him for an agonizing minute, before he said, “Who the f*ck is this kid?”  The boy was ushered away from the star, “gagging on the foot in his mouth.”

During one scene requiring heavy rain, the crew pumped river water into four or five firehoses, aimed it straight up and let it rain down in huge brown drops on the extras, for hours at a time.  In knee-deep mud they dug trenches with combat helmets, absorbing all kinds of tropical bugs.  As a result, several of the boys came down with a nasty jungle fever, spending nights and days on uncomfortable cots in the humid, un-air conditioned schoolrooms, where they were billeted. 

During the filming of a beach scene, the boys were given Coke cans with beer labels, as they cooked steaks on makeshift grills.  At one point a huge truck of San Miguel beer arrived and the boys lined up to fill their faux beer cans with actual beer.  After getting their beer, they would go to the end of the line and drink up while waiting in line for another fill up.  Some went through the line several times before those in charge wised up and shut the operation down. 

Adversity brings people together.  While the creature comforts may have been lacking, the opportunity to be a part of this movie was once-in-a-lifetime.  Like war veterans, they join together on Facebook pages to reminisce and rehash the stories of their experience.  It could be that fighting an imaginary war affected them as much as a real one.  Perhaps being a TCK is itself like being in a war, fighting for our identity and our place in the world.  Thus, like the band of brothers who emerge from the battlefield, battered and scarred, we look to each other to find our solace.  We laugh at the difficulties we overcame and brag about the ridiculous luxuries, but all in all we find, in our commonality, ourselves.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Language as a Barrier to Integration: Focus Living in Argentina

This article gave me a chuckle. Makes me think about all the slang Tagalog words that we picked up in Manila that can't be printed here.

My older sister, Debi, had a friend in Japan who was half Japanese, half American. Said friend was fluent in Japanese, and thought it would be fun to play a trick on sis. We were staying in the hotel and they decided to order some hot chocolate from room service. Debi, wanting to be cool, asked friend how to say "hot chocolate" in Japanese. Picking up the phone, Debi ordered "Ni hot opai kudasai!" as friend rolled on the floor laughing. When the room service operator said "WHAT? WHAT?" Debi caught on quickly that she had been punked by her friend and had just ordered "two hot breasts, please." Trust no one!

Language as a Barrier to Integration: Focus Living in Argentina

Monday, April 4, 2011

My Life in Food

Most of my children have typical American kid diets.  Any meal that includes chicken nuggets (or strips), macaroni & cheese, pizza or hamburgers is all they need.  Vegetables?  Ha!  Not since they came out of a Gerber jar.  My oldest son wins the award for pickiest eater: one time we stopped at an authentic pizzeria in New York City and got the most beautiful, straight out of the brick oven pizza.  He wouldn’t eat it because “it has tomato chunks!”  Another son wouldn’t touch a dish because it had microscopic  “little green things” on it.  Potatoes are fine as long they come in the form of French fries, but mashed or baked, forget it.  Nothing affected my mom frustrat-o-meter more than my kids’ eating habits.

I on the other hand, am a Third Culture Kid.  One of the first snack foods I ate was dried squid in Japan, which came in a little bag like potato chips.  I loved seaweed and the real buckwheat soba noodles (not the “Top Ramen” that I heard referred to as Purina Student Chow).  Nothing takes me back to my early childhood in Japan like food and smells.  Gyoza from Nancy Ma’s.  The taste of osimbe, little rice crackers.  The shrimp and corn chowder at the Okura Hotel.  Veal cutlets at the Imperial Hotel.  There was a restaurant in Raponggi called “Kushinobo”.  On the table in front of you was a porcelain fish with a gaping mouth.  All the food was served on a stick, fried, and you put the used sticks in the fish’s mouth.  You were charged on the number of sticks.  But we’re not talking ordinary fried things.  We’re talking lotus root with curry stuffing.  Quail eggs.  Prawns.  That kind of thing.  It was pure, exotic deliciousness that my mind’s eye (tongue?) has never forgotten. 

In Brussels, of course, I delighted in eating escargot (buttery, garlicky snails!) with the cute little snail-eating gadget.  I wonder if it was because I truly liked them or was it the shock value.  (“Ewwww! I’m eating snails!) My mouth waters at the thought of a slice of rare roast beef served from a silver-domed serving platter at Simpson’s on the Strand in London.  With jacketed potatoes and Yorkshire pudding.  A ploughman’s lunch from an English pub, with Crosse & Blackwell’s Major Grey chutney on the side.  (Yes, the chunky black stuff.  It’s yummy!)  I did, and still do, draw the line at anything with an organ in it, like kidneys or liver.  My mom taught me to love caviar, with finely minced onion, hard-boiled egg and lemon juice.  And never use a metal spoon.  There is nothing more delectable than paper-thin sliced smoked salmon on toast points, with capers and onions.  Shall I bring up the British “cream tea” with fat, buttery scones and clotted cream, topped with strawberry preserves?

I relished Filipino cuisine, with lumpias (egg rolls), pancit (a noodle dish) and pork adobo.  If anyone offers you “balut” though, say thanks but no thanks.  It’s a pickled fertilized egg, complete with chicken fetus.  Just don’t.  And I’m sorry, Aussie friends, but vegemite?  Really?  No.  Just no. 

In Singapore there was an Indian Restaurant near the American Embassy called “Omar Khayyam”.  I adore curry, the hotter and bolder the better.  Basmati rice and naan, and Tandoori chicken (with maybe a bottle of Kingfisher to wash it all down) … oh, it’s just too lovely to describe.  Don’t get me started on the food stalls on Bukit Tima road.  Or the little man at the Shangri-La hotel who cooks chicken satay by the pool. 

Another favorite: Middle Eastern or Mediterranean … the more lamb and olives, the better.  Mom makes a homemade moussaka that is to die for. My two girls were both born in Kazakhstan, where horsemeat is a national staple.  I ate it once, to be polite.  It was a little like venison, not too bad, and I managed to get it down in spite of my husband whispering "Willllburrr" behind me.  You have to respect their culture: the horse is a large part of their lives, be it herding or transportation. Fermented mare's milk is a treat that comes in a coke bottle.  I really, really wanted to try it, I did.  I just couldn't.

I have to stop now.  I have to go find something suitably, deliciously weird to eat now … and boil up some Kraft Macaroni & Cheese for the kids.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Dog & Elephant friends (CBS Evening News, 2009-01-02)

This is not outwardly related to being a TCK, but in a way it is. With all the turmoil in the world, between cultures, races, religions, etc., we could all learn a simple lesson from an unlikely friendship. Something we TCKs learned to do a long time ago ...

Saturday, April 2, 2011

YouTube - Where the Hell is Matt(2010).

I started following this guy a few years ago. Dancing brings a smile to everyone, and needs no translation. Can't we all just dance and laugh?