le mauvais poulet

I don’t know what it is about traveling abroad that makes me so inclined to discuss what exactly I’m eating over here. I mean, it’s not like I’ve traveled to Mars; the food can’t be THAT different. And yet, with some strange prevailing force that beckons me to this discussion, from it I cannot stray.

First, let’s discuss the state of Chicken in the UK. Yesterday, we had something called Chicken Oysters, that has absolutely nothing to do with actual oysters, mind you, and are more pertaining to the underpart of a chicken. About the size of a chicken wing with the consistency of dark meat, I’m convinced that I ate at least one chicken buttcheek, an experience that is far from pleasant. A few bites into it I decided that Pret a Manger deserved my money more than my stomach deserved to consume poultry ass.

Then today, with the highest expectations, I again encountered the mysterious chicken; this time, it was a teensy little baby bird all tied up in twine, reminding me of my dissection days in AP Bio which nearly permanently sent me to vegetarianism. In fact, the thought of even delving into such a dish sent me to feign being a veggie, an action morally ‘illegal’ here in the UK office since they have a set number of vegetarian dishes per day. It was a decision I didn’t enter into lightly, though it offered very little relief – the quiche substitute was less than satisfying. Thus, lunch #2 in the UK was a mini Milky Way bar (only 16p!)

But alas, I’m enjoying my time over here, foodstuffs notwithstanding. In fact, the trite complaining I’m doing is ridiculous given the nature of my visit and the very tragedy that is happening in New Orleans & the surrounding areas. Whilst I have food aplenty, there are people dying, longing for fresh water and any source of nourishment. Shame on me for digressing to something this insensitive; and yet serves as a meager example of the way the world, despite the tragedy and the death and the anger at our President and the sorrow and the loss and the confusion, continues to go on. People go to work every day, leaving the harsh reality of Katrina’s aftermath by the mere click of a button as they turn off the television. The donations, while pouring in, will likely soon wane, and the hundreds of thousands of people displaced will still remain without their creature comforts as we soon continue with our lives.

And as insensitive as it is, people like me will write what they know, where they are, and what they’re experiencing, as a somewhat futile way to exorcise the omnipresent visions of despair that are so permeating the news, an attempt at self-preservation by way of ignorance, of distraction, of continuance. We won’t forget, mind you, and we won’t stop trying to help, but we will try and go on.

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