June 9, 2019

Food for Thought

This morning, YouTube notified me that @foodandfootprints just posted a new video. I was in the middle of watching the Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Adichie speak about important sociocultural issues, but I immediately dropped it and clicked on the link in the notification. Before I started watching Greg and Jumi’s new video, I left my comment: “First!” Indeed, I was the first. This is the second time in a row. The latest video is about Halal food in New York City.

Greg is the main host but my attention is usually on Jumi. She always stares at the food intensely and does not take her eyes off of it. As Greg explains why it’s great, an unbearable tension builds between Jumi and the food. As an audience, I need to see it released. Seeing the empty food container feels satisfying even though I didn’t eat it.

After watching it, the image of the chicken over rice (with white, green, and hot sauces) lingered in my head. To release my own tension, I decided to hop on the subway to Queens, to one of the food carts they reviewed.

It was as good as Greg said it was, but I seem to think every Halal cart is good. I haven’t come across a bad one. If anyone can recommend the worst Halal cart, let me know, so that I can get a proper sense of the whole spectrum of Halal carts in New York City.

I then walked over to Chakra Cafe to get the Turkish Delights @gustasian posted this morning. I showed the post to the lady behind the counter and asked for the same exact items. Sadly, they were out of “Rosewater” but had a different one covered in some sort of flower petals, which turned out to be the best one. I don’t ask questions about what I’m eating, so, I have no idea what it was.

I oddly enjoy tracing someone else’s path. It’s like detective work. It makes you feel like you are that person for that brief moment. It’s the same feeling you get when you read a great novel where you feel like you are one of the characters in it. Ultimately, loneliness is not cured by having many friends or spending a lot of time with them, but by blurring the borders between you and others.