Thursday, December 27, 2007

The New Experience Tour of Western Canada

My sister from Australia is visiting with her New Boyfriend. New Boyfriend, who has never been out of Australia before, is learning a lot of new things.

Among other things, he has learned that he is completely incomprehensible. Last night he said something to my other sister, Writing Sister, who listened, nodding thoughtfully, then turned to Aussie Sister and said, "How does anyone know what he's saying?" She wasn't being rude, she just wanted to know.

Also last night we gave New Boyfriend the experience of Chinatown sweets. Our landlords, bless their wonderful hearts, gave us a package of ginseng candies. None of us can stand them except Winnifred, and she says, "They taste like dirt, but sweet." New Boyfriend gamely tried them, resulting in the facial expression above. That's him looking rather accusingly at Winnifred.

Other new experiences: eating a gooseberry; bagels and lox; going to the gym; and looking at really big mountains. (To Aussies, the Coast Mountains are really big).

Another new experience, one he isn't likely to want to repeat: communal grocery shopping. Since he is going to be cooking for us New Year's Eve, he wanted to pick up a few things at the supermarket, but the three family members accompanying him had conflicting advice and he wasn't allowed to buy some things he needed. Now the mere words "rock salt" starts up a huge debate. I wasn't there so I don't have all the details, but luckily we had some rock salt and could just sneak it to him when the others weren't looking. He's being a good sport about all this.


the chocolate lady מרת שאקאלאד said...

what is rock salt, and why would one object to it?

FJ said...

Rock salt is essentially kosher salt. It is chunky and used for salting the outside of pretzels and other specialty dishes. New Boyfriend uses it when roasting vegetables and I will try to get the recipe.

Objections to it appear to be based on the fact that you could either get a 2-kilo bag for $6 or a few ounces in a fancy container for $12. The first was thought to be too much (salt), while the second was thought to be too much (money), so New Boyfriend wasn't in the end allowed to buy any of it.

Carolyn said...

The real problem is that people ask me, What's Toni's New Boyfriend like? And I say, He seems totally sweet, as far as I can tell, considering I can't understand a damn thing he says.
Carolyn (Writing Sister)

LEJ said...

The REAL problem is that he cooks too well and I'm overdoing - well, I probably would thsi time of year anyway, but I'm overdoing overdoing it.