I bought a bag of peanuts. They tasted like garlic.
I bought a bag of pumpkin seeds. They tasted of coconut.
I bought some wasabi peas. They tasted sweet.
I bought a piece of cake. It tasted salty.
I bought a breakfast bun. There was a hot dog in the center of it.
I bought a small carton of cherry tomatoes at the supermarket. With them came a little plastic packet. It looked like a melange of salt and pepper.
I liberally poured it on my tomatoes. It was like sweet MSG.
I'm a little sick. I have a cough that sounds like a knife against a whetstone or a muffled cymbal. It rattles in my chest and occasionally it yields a satisfying green ooze. A full third of my kindy class have the same. At "sharing time" when we talk about the weather and our feelings, my coughs are echoed by theirs.
I've had this cough for a couple of days. Yesterday I figured a little chicken soup was just what I needed. Soup is offered with every meal here. Corn soup, fish soup, seaweed soup, wonton soup (pork broth), beef soup...but I haven't noticed any chicken soup. I went into work and before my evening class I asked where I could get some chicken soup. No one knew.
Class ended and I was marking papers. Teacher Tina came down stairs with a metal pot that had a lid on it. "Teacher Helen, do you like ginger?"
"Yes, I was going to buy some just after class"
"I asked my mom where to buy soup. She went to the market and bought a chicken. She made soup for you"
I took it home. Simple. Chicken, and ginger. Not much ginger at all. The broth was a tonic. I feel much better today. I saved the bones and I'm now making more soup for myself. This time with veggies.
How do you repay that kind of gesture? Her mama made soup because some foreigner at work wanted it.