Mocha Latte.............................. Longan Almond Jelly ..............................Mint Tea
Food was never a big affair for me like most Chinese (of any regions). The expense and trouble of getting/preparing good food (in the UK) is enough to put me off. Afterall, it was just something to fill up my stomach.
For that reason and for economical consideration, I was able to live through the first half of my year in Durham buying the most basic and un-Chinese ingredients from the local supermarkets and lived through my days without salt, garlic, oyster sauce or soya sauce.
I missed movies more than I missed food from hometown then. Neither do I miss any Chinese festivals or festive food. And definitely, there is no way for me to pay 6GBP for a bowl of noodles in Chinatown that is nowhere near the taste from home......until a Chinese moved into my floor. She claimed that she was lazy to cook but she had with her oyster sauce, spring onions, chilli paste and stuffs.....There was an occasion when she shared with me her precious rice dumpling with peanut fillings that she has bought. The pandora box was thus opened.
Now I swear by soya sauce, sesame oil, spring onion and shallots in my cooking.....and the list is still expanding.
This is my fourth year away from home. I notice that each time I got the chance to travel out of the UK to anywhere, and practically anywhere, I will appreciate the food at the new place with a great sense of satisfaction and gratitude.
To be honest, it is difficult to get any satisfaction eating out in the UK. Any ultility that you get from quality food will be eroded by the price that you have to pay. And definitely, fish and chips (french fries) is not my cup of tea.
I am baffled at times to be confronted with a sudden pang for some food/drinks--pork floss, almond jelly with longan, steamed toufu, soya bean milk, sushi and green tea flavoured snacks. And strangely enough, I even crave for things like spicy potato chips which I am not especially fond of even back home. And the worst thing is--out of nowhere, I developed this craving for iced mocha latte which I haven't even tried before! And now, a day can't pass by without a glass of chilled mocha latte.
It seems like that the novelty of living abroad is wearing off.....or much to my fear, it has worn down already.