Canada

Earlier today:

Me (reading the Québec license plate): Je me souviens.
A: Is that “Keep me beautiful?”
Me: No.
A: I’m a souvenir?

That says something to me.

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My first passport. Age 5.

Italy bound!

Kinderhearts

Passport Pretty

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Eating Deliciously

Edible Complex

While living abroad, my diet varied from each place I visited. Some were better experiences than others.

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[Jesus Diet]

Consumption: Baguette & Wine

Bordeaux

Where wine flows like water.

It was everything I didn’t imagine it to be. It was clean (comparatively speaking). It was friendly. And it was affordable. Affordable for someone who made a salary other than an English Assistant for the French Ministry of Education, that is.

My savings quickly vanished and I had to learn how to survive on a dime for the duration of my time there. By the time taxes and bills were subtracted from my modest paycheck, I was left with about 200 € to survive on for the month. This is sort of doable. I even splurged on a pastry and un paquet once in a while (a “while” being on payday).

The French supermarkets are my favorite in the world for a lot of reasons (I’ll get into this later), and the main reason being that it is the only place I’ve been able to find wine for less than 1 €. This was a better deal than bottled water! I’m all about value. I also found baguettes for 32 centimes (about 40 cents).  1,32 € and I had a quality-ish meal.

And so, for five months, I lived off of cheap wine that came in a plastic bottle and baguettes that had a 20-minute shelf life.

This diet is not recommended if you are concerned about your health. While I made ends meet, I was in no way healthy.

Results: maintained weight

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[White Diet]

Consumption: everything processed

Grandma’s car

There comes a time when you are living abroad that you start to miss certain “things” from home. Sometimes I would lay in bed dreaming of Kraft Mac & Cheese and I couldn’t wait to get home only to have access to a real oven.

When I first came home, I was unemployed and soon became my grandma’s road trip buddy. I spent several hours a day looking out of the window from the passenger seat of her Corolla. I don’t think I know anyone who loves snacking more than my sweet grandma.

Anyway, long story short, I spent five months shoving my face with animal crackers, cupcakes, frozen lasagna, and sugary juices. I ate deliciously.

Results: gained 23 pounds in 5 months

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[Philippines Diet]

Consumption: Tapeworm

I was still battling the extra fluff I put on and was in no shape to wear a bikini. Luckily, my beach time was limited due to torrential downpours and gray skies. Instead, my friends and I spent a lot of time taste-testing while we were in Palawan.

Filipino food probably isn’t my favorite but I must credit it to the fact that I lost all of those treats I devoured when I was home.

When I returned to South Korea (where I was teaching/living at the time), I found it difficult to keep food in. I could eat an Orea and I would find myself in the bathroom 2 minutes later. It was amazing.

I visited doctors and they were just as lost as I was. Indigestion? Stomach virus? Whatever it was, I was given a colorful cocktail of capsules to take for a week.

Over the course of two months, I was back down to my size 4. Eventually, I was able to keep food in for longer periods of time, but despite my weight loss, my belly was distended.

“Teacher. Baby?” asked my students.

While I wasn’t having a baby, I learned that I was going to have millions of parasites.

This was discovered about a year later when I finally got the courage to do a parasite cleanse.

*WARNING: Do NOT Google image “parasites in humans”

Results: Lost 20 pounds in 2 months.

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What is the strangest eating habit/diet you encountered from living/traveling abroad? 

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