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1.24.2007

Taste Explosion

The act of gift giving stresses me out because I am anal.
Not only do I try to give gifts that I think will be perfectly enjoyed by the recipient but another requirement is that I must like it for myself.
(At times, this self imposed requirement actually ends up hindering the gift giving)
Last Christmas, I was painstakingly matching gift cards to teachers, nieces, nephews and the bus driver.
Mulling over my choices with a friend (who shall remain nameless)
I was informed that my Kentucky Fried Chicken Certificate choice for the school bus driver was inappropriate because he is black.
I was confused. To make sure, I asked another (nameless) friend--and I got the same answer: inappropriate.
Upon further research I found it interesting that indeed, ethnic groups' favored foods were being used as verbal ammunition.
I thought, since when did what we eat become fodder for racism?
How did society make the transition from identifying what people enjoyed eating to making it a racial slur?
And, how did we, who actually enjoyed eating the certain food, decide it was insulting for others to say that we enjoyed eating the certain food?

I could have just given him a gift card to Starbucks and been done with it but due to my own stubborness and my preference for KFC, I didn't.
Since my goal was to make him happy (and not to take a sociological stance)
I decided to prepare a back-up present.
(I said I was anal)
I prepared a Wholefoods treatbag
(parrano cheese, waterwheel crackers and red seedless grapes) and the KFC certificate.
On the morning of the gift giving I waited for him to pull up.
I climbed aboard the bus and presented him with my offerings:
"Mr. Tom, these are two of my favorites...pick what you want for Christmas."
He picked up the KFC certificate, flashed me a big grin and gave me the thumbs up sign.
And that was that.

Rice-
Kimchi-
KFC-
An easy target for gastronomic racism I am, considering these are right up there in my list of favorite foods.
(Eaten all together in one spoonful, it is a taste explosion)
However, I believe that when one has nothing but good intentions, a gift should never have to bite you in the ass.

2 comments:

  1. Well said my good & faithful disciple!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Emailed4:16 PM

    From Jericho Farrales:
    re: Imelda Post
    "I read the part about Peter extending his hand to Imelda, to shake it, you know, and it dawned on me, that's so Peter, no fear, impulsive. And another thing, it just emphasizes the different culture between the Philippines and the States, even if the Philippines is very western in many ways, the man on the street can't simply shake the president's hand. Here, it's expected and even encouraged. I mean, if I voted for you, why am I not good enough to shake your hand?"

    ReplyDelete

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