Life At Point C

Experiencing Life along the Silk Road

Eating in Central Asia

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There are many things I take for granted in America. Like eating without any worries about what is in my food. I know that there are many things in food that I have heard around the internet. Like pink slime in ground beef, high fructose corn syrup in everything, pesticides, chemicals, and every other “non-natural” thing that is in food. But what I am talking about are tiny rocks, dirt, bugs, hair, and teeth on the rare occasion (see the story of the tooth in the ice cream). Here is one such food story:

One normal weekday, I was with my wife and we were deciding where to eat for lunch. We had just finished our Russian lesson at the university. We decided to go to the museum cafeteria on our way to the student center where we worked. We found this cafeteria some time ago with our friend, Anthony. It was a dive! You could not beat the price of the food anywhere in town. The food was okay. We walked into the small cafeteria that is located on the side of the Kyrgyz history museum. I got my usual “ganfan”, a rice dish with vegetables and a tiny portion of shredded meat. LaVena ordered plov, another rice dish with meat and some vegetables. We got settled and brought our meals and tea to the corner where we usually ate. We chatted about class as we ate. I always eat fast and LaVena eats slowly. As I scarfed down my rice dish, I crunched down hard into a bite of my food. I heard the crackle of teeth and something hard in my bite of ganfan. LaVena saw the look on my face and asked if I was okay. I spit out my food into a napkin and I saw a tiny rock among the rice. I felt my front tooth to make sure it was fine. As I examined the tooth, a tiny sliver of my tooth was stuck to finger. “I chipped my tooth” I said to my wife in an extremely surprised high pitched voice. I was done eating and we left. I walked and complained to LaVena. She told me, “You should start eating slower.” I took her advice and to this day I am always conscious of how I eat and especially what I eat. But she still eats slower than me.

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