Friday, February 5, 2010

Tastes That Make Me See

My wife came across a delightful find this week at The Targ. The treasure is a little secret from down under known as the TimTam. It's a crispy cookie rectangular prism covered in chocolate often with some bonus filling like caramel. We first came across these little quadrilaterals of goodness 7 years ago exactly where you'd expect--The Philippines. We found them in a small grocery next to the stinky fresh fish aisle and Pocky, the chocolate cream covered bisquit sticks.
It's not so much that the TimTam dominates the cookie universe. They're pretty tasty, but what I like most is the fact that we found something in America to remind us of our journeys in other lands. Usually it's the other way around. When traveling, we get excited about ordering a burger from McDonald's in China or buying a 80-degree Coke in Egypt because they remind us of Home. (Home is capitalized to indicate America, the standard for home). But to see something trickle through our isolated walls and remind us of Third World living conditions is rare. TimTams remind me of short, tan people. They remind me of the skinny girl giving all her food to her little brother at the feeding center. They bring back an aroma of diesel fumes and the sound of dude yelling from his custard cart at sunrise in attempt to sell rotten custard to people who aren't yet awake. Eating squid. Singing Jesus songs to attentive children in a tight alley. Roosters in the city. A remote village with a hand-built stone pathway. Bamboo houses built up on stilts with nearby banana trees. Shy village kids all wearing flip flops on brown feet greeting us with their only English, "Good morning, sir. Good morning, ma'am." Mangy dogs with crooked tails (They all had crooked tails for some reason). Smog. VCDs. My wife. And tasty cookies from Australia. Tim to the Tams.

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