October 19, 2010

How do we make ourselves at home

Den Haag (the Hague) is the seat of the Dutch government. The parliament’s here. The international tribunal’s here. All foreign embassies camp here. The Queen lives here.

Yes, I am thoroughly aware of all this. The city is actually what first pops into my mind when  Holland is mentioned, thanks to BBC.

And I’ve been there three times. There was an impulse, which I had no control over at all, that led me to the least imaginable tourist attraction every time.

My first stop there would always end up at the Chinese supermarket. I have to make a complaint here, in Leiden, we have no decent Chinese supermarkets. All we’ve got is a tiny Asian grocery store.

I happily collected all my trophies. With the plastic bag full of jars and Taiwanese snacks, I, with all due respect, paid a visit to the girl with a pearl earring.


I haven’t felt homesick. I realize food is how I’ve managed to make myself at home.

I unconsciously try to stock the cupboard full. Just less than four months to go. Now it’s time to worry whether they can be finished before the departing flight takes off.


I am also influencing the girls with food from home. Carla’s trying chopsticks and buying Taiwanese cookies while Emine gets addicted to red bean cakes.


The upper cupboard: Carla’s cupboard (with WanWan Senbei ^^)


And I’m drinking excessive amount of tea.

I drink tea at home, quite regularly and sometimes daily. But I am literally living on the drink in this land. Having it as long as I’m awake. I look back at the days in India. Weren’t we doing the same thing? It’s probably a sort of mechanism our bodies automatically activate in foreign places. Adaptation of the unconsciousness: “It’s not home. Drink tea to make yourself better.”


4 Responses to “”

  1. mel Says:

    red bean cakes –wat’s this.

  2. Valeria Says:

    Food soothes the homesick soul. I hoarded Chinese food when I was there.

    When my father came to Germany for a conference, my Mom asked me if I needed anything from Taiwan. I said “媽, 讓把拔幫我帶冬粉過來好不好?” XDD

    And he really did. 🙂


    • afryfan Says:

      ha I have some Chinese food but not a lot. Will get more from Den Haag this week!!
      and I do have 冬粉!!! someone gave it to me.

      I was also keeping the dried Chinese muchrooms for later. but now I think I probably won’t have time to finish them if I wait for too long!!! (six months is tooooo short!!)

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