I hate this week. It is exam week, which sounds like it should be a piece of cake. More like a foot shoved up you know where. In order to divert my mind from relieving all the stressful moments so far, I will instead discuss a fun quandary of the beautiful island of Amerika Samoa.
My parents visited for Christmas. I actually managed to introduce them to a lot of the food Samoans eat on a daily basis, and they got a pretty good idea of what was available, and what was not. Namely, most things which are green.
It is incredibly ironic- I live in a tropical area. There is greenery everywhere, flourishing proof that plenty of stuff grows. Everywhere you look there are mango trees, banana palms, coconut palms, breadfruit (ulu) trees, and taro plants. However, the only two common vegetables that seem to be grown here are bok choy and a green bean relative called longbeans. Both delicious, but it gets old fast. A few people seem to grow tomatoes, but they can’t quite grasp when to pick them- as a result, mostly, I have been making fried green tomatoes, which admittedly are delicious (if not very healthy).
The biggest problem with vegetables is obviously how far away we are from everything. Anything which comes here has to be shipped a loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong way. Often they simply don’t make it, or are in less than appetizing condition. Never has Kermit’s classic lament “It’s Not Easy Being Green,“ held truer than for the poor bell peppers and broccoli shipped over here.
Consequently, I eat a lot of frozen vegetables- there isn’t much variety so it tends to be either frozen spinach or some sort of peas, corn and carrot mixture. When I am not eating frozen, I am daydreaming about all the glorious things I am going to be eating in June- okra, snow peas, okra, fresh lettuce, fresh spinach, squash, zucchini, peppers, artichokes, Hanover tomatoes, fresh basil, lima beans. I hope to live like a rabbit for the first two weeks I am home, God willing.
In the meantime, I charge all of you to go to your local salad bar and load up- and don’t forget to spill a little lettuce on the floor, just for me.