Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Stranger in a strange land: Food

I've actually had very few experiences where I felt like a stranger in a strange land. In Nigeria, everything seemed to scream out constantly that I wasn't in the US anymore. In Pretoria, though, it's not only clearly advanced/developed/first-world, but everyone speaks English to me. If it weren't for people driving on the left and the stores are a little different, I would forget I was in another country sometimes.

After ten days I have finally found our first glaring thing that will remind me multiple times a day that I'm not in the US:

There is no such thing as pure orange juice.

Every morning at breakfast the orange juice we ask for has tasted just a little off, and sometimes very much off, and sometimes downright nasty, and we couldn't figure out why. Being on the Naturally Slim program means that I don't drink water anymore (hardly). I mix my water with just a little OJ, making "H2Orange". It's delightful. It overpowers the taste of the local water wherever I am. It's delicious. Other program adherents call it the nectar of the gods. It's ... unworkable here.

We went to the store searching for orange juice, and we kind of found it. The label says in big, bright letters "100% orange juice", and then beneath it reads: "orange mixed with apple and grape juice" or "orange mixed with apple and other juices" (or "other fruit" as in this picture).

OTHER juices? What, pray tell, are these mysterious "other" juices? Yak urine? Chewing tobacco spit? There's something not quite right about that juice, this much I know.

In SAfr's defense, everything else has tasted very good. The pizza is different but enjoyable. The lamb at UP was glorious. The meat pies put Nigeria's to shame. They have Hob Nobs and real Nutella and bockwurst. Their butternut squash is amazingly good. The OJ? Not so much.