Food, travel and the 20-something life.

What if I just learn to cook? The two main happiness factors that are constants in my life are places and food. As Weiner himself admits in that book I loved so much, geography can really determine one’s happiness if only because a place has the capacity to really move us in ways we can’t explain. I’ve had so many epiphanies in places like Brunei and Indonesia. From the morning and afternoon prayers that devotees sing to Allah to the mystic moon that hangs above Bali, all these experiences have in one way or another been a result of displacement–getting from here to there and being in a constant state of flux. But alas, the irony is that travel doesn’t come cheap and if I’m to wallow in this pool of woe just because I can’t do what I really want to do just yet, I might as well kick myself. Self-pity isn’t pretty and looking at other people’s success with the job-hunt isn’t either.

Oh but Eureka! I just discovered while chewing on a tasteless muffin that my problem isn’t that I can’t find a job but that I don’t really want the things I see. I know, I know. How dare I say that when so many people are itching for jobs and would gladly accept anything that pays the bills. This makes me really sick inside…but you see, it’s always been my self-imposed rule that I ought to do something that truly causes me to wake up in the morning and work until the wee hours of the evening. Is it wrong to think this way? Maybe. Get a job and earn money. Get a job and earn money. Get a job and earn money. But wait, why not get a job that makes you happy? Money doesn’t really make me happy (ahem, except maybe when I go into a bookstore or see pretty things I’d like to wear) and neither does owning too many things. My idea of living in my twenties is a knapsack, 3 pairs of pants, 5 shirts, notebook, pen and open road, and maybe a couple of bucks to fly me from here to wherever I can walk. Sounds Utopian doesn’t it? But it isn’t all fantasy, believe me.

So on the one hand there’s travel which I cannot afford right now or risk since a huge chunk of reasoning in my head’s still keeping me home. I’ll only go away when I’m pretty sure I can manage. There’s still this pending surgery and some concerns but I tell you, I’ll do it before 25.

In the meantime, food is still an incredibly huge source of joy. Eating is one past-time I wouldn’t mind putting on my resume next to reading and writing. I thought it was silly to cook at first because independent women in this century don’t need to stay at home but you know, my deeply traditional inner self is struggling to get to the kitchen and cook something, anything. It’s a concept you learn from college where everyone is taking some kind of specialized degree. Economics, Law, Engineering, Science, Molecular Biology–yum. On the flip side of things there are those among us who have decided to go to culinary school instead. It’s expensive to do this and if you believe in college-speak, it’s only reserved for those who can’t manage to get into other colleges…ech. Which mindless student from some boring course thought that up? What about the number of college students who go to school, ace their tests but don’t have a taste for learning?

Before I digress and defend the people in the business of degustation, I might as well come out and say it. I want to cook and be able to invite friends over for dinner or lunch. I want to stage picnics with baskets full of food that elicit reactions akin to that of the Mole in Kenneth Grahame’s Wind in the Willows. He was invited to eat lunch by the riverside and he had just as much fun unpacking, devouring and putting back lunch containers into the basket. How wonderful!

I know it sounds crazy and a tad bit too risky but if all else fails, at least I’ll know how to cook me a tiny pot of comfort soup. That should be worth everything.


8 thoughts on “Food, travel and the 20-something life.

  1. So down with this post! Different perspectives that come from traveling are so invaluable. As for your job or lack thereof – How about a traveling food critic? Travel around, try different cuisines… write about it.. get paid… There’s gotta be a market for that???

    • toynbeeconvector says:

      Hi Adam! πŸ™‚ It’s great to see you here! Unfortunately, no one is eager to pay me yet but you know, I’ll take your advice and just do it. There really has to be a market for this. Thanks for stopping by! Do come again when you can.

  2. Gabbie says:

    Be sure to invite me over! πŸ™‚ Haha. I’ll bring wine…or since I know zip about wine, I’ll bring stuff for milkshakes nalang. OINK

    • toynbeeconvector says:

      I know nothing about wine too and no matter how many times they tell me it’s good or i have to drink it in this way or that, I just don’t have a taste for it. There! I said it! *bites nails* oh no, my French-ness is going to be fake. 😦 but oh well, yeah come over. Let’s cook together! πŸ™‚ You want? Hooray for milkshakes!

  3. I totally agree with your idea of a “job”. I guess that’s why I feel so dry when I’m immersed in an environment I’m not really happy with. I know I can do a good job but it won’t be fulfilling for me, and it just makes me feel like I’m wasting time submitting to the system instead of carving my own path πŸ™‚

    • toynbeeconvector says:

      I’m so glad you get it! But you know, I kind of knew you would! oh Elle, let’s find work that’s befitting of our dreams and aspirations! πŸ™‚ Hey, how have you been?

  4. I used to think that cooking was stupid because it was something that women were made to do and I didn’t want any of that traditional nonsense. And then left home and then I was struck by the realization that cooking isn’t just woman’s work. We all need to eat, regardless of gender.

    So go ahead and learn how to cook! I think it’s fun, even if I eat the same crap over and over again.

    • toynbeeconvector says:

      Yeah! I’m so glad you mentioned that! Eating really cuts across the gender divide! What do You cook, anyway? Oh, Sarah, have you been in touch with Anton at all? I mentioned to him that you comment on my blog and I think he got a bit sad (shh, i didn’t tell you this) because he hasn’t heard from you.

      Anyway, tell me about what you eat. πŸ™‚

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