Saturday, June 10, 2006
my penchant for gastronomical stuff being hawked onstreet doesn't seem to let up despite my well-meaning friends' enumeration of diseases i might contract, from hepatitis to gastroenteritis. so many times have friends wrestled away congee, mekekekwek or quail eggs, bopis barbecue, squid balls, chicken balls, isaws of various lengths, liver barbecue and the like (except helmet and the foetal day-old--i feel like being a cannibal just thinking about wolfing them) from my hungry orifice, only for me to continue, say, filling my germ-infested mangkok with chopped onion, cucumber, salt and chili-sprinkled vinegar for my snack of orange flour-covered fried duck egg exposed to edsa's grime and dust and vehicular smoke. this i gulp down with sago gulaman whose "mineral water" is of questionable origin. what the hey, i like the cooling effect of sweet-tasting palamig after consuming sticks of sizzling animal intestines, for instance. did i mention how goto vendors wash their used rice bowl? they immerse these plastic or porcelain wares into nearly brackish water for three seconds, and then mount them onto the cupboard, ready for the next customer.
since liking and disliking are all a matter of taste, i abhor certain food ingredients, and turn up my nose altogether from meals containing tausi (chinese black beans), puso ng saging (banana heart), bayabas (guava), gata (cocomilk), patani (a kind of bean). eeeuuuwww. in 1997, my college classmate panda excitedly told me she has a gift for me, but more as a joke than a spite, the canned good turned out to be chinese black beans, "for escabeche, you know," she said helpfully. she must have read my column at the school paper, and while i was exuberant that my essay was actually noticed, i feared that cannibalizing my life on print has given known and unknown enemies the advantage of what kryptonite will sap up my energy. one time long ago, eating my fish sinigang, i sniffed something in the soup and grew aghast at the visible evidence of horror: guava seeds! my stomach went amiss, and i became bedridden with fever for a couple of days.
round mealtime, give me only spoon or give me death. not even formal dinners can make me use fork, for my right thumb can already serve the purpose of shoving the mound of rice onto the concave of spoon. one can make me go on bare hands or on chop sticks, but the use of fork may be spared (save that implement when i descend in hades, hahaha). this was particularly noticed by the kindergarten son of a burmese la sallian professor, but soon found notoriety when i started digging at spaghetti using spoon.
this is going to be the last of this list concerning my mouth and the stuff i put into it: how i just swallow food after minimal mastication. it must have been my aching cavities of old that rendered me swallowing without giving much work for my teeth to tear, crush, gnash my food. because my digestion is incomplete, my hunky biologist friend intimated, i don't get the optimum nutrients which are secreted in the initial digestive stage, hence my failure to gain weight. if i don't launch into some interesting talk over meal, i can be expected to clean up my plate like it wasn't filled with food to begin with or its content plummeted out of my clumsiness. this i likewise do in my second and third helpings--and throughout three platefuls, i seldom moved my jaw to chomp every mouthful. i'll leave you to think what else i swallow without chewing.