We’ve been away from the United States now for a little over six months. We left September 16, and it’s now March 19. So that’s close to 170 days–no small amount of time. Until last night, we had held out. Well, it’s not even really fair to call it holding out. We just didn’t even think about it. It was natural. But something seems to have changed yesterday. It was different, and we acted upon it, and it was fine. Yes, last night, for the first time since leaving the States, we cooked a non-Asian meal.
That’s not to say that we haven’t eaten non-Malaysian/Indonesian food since we’ve gone. We had pizza one time in Jakarta, and we had Indian food a couple times in Jakarta. We also went out once every other week or so to a bar in Jakarta that served good salads and soup. And we’ve gone out for German food twice, once in KL (excellent), once in Jakarta (not so bad). And we can’t forget the two times we went out to a giant multicultural buffet in Jakarta.
What we haven’t done is actually cook a meal involving all Western ingredients. In Indonesia, we ate nothing but noodle stir fries and vegetable dishes, Javanese and Sumatran curries, and deep fried tofu and tempe at home. Since we’ve arrived here, we have eaten salads made at home, since we now trust fresh vegetables enough to eat them raw. But we always construct an Asian dressing full of kecap manis and coriander, and we always add tempe, tofu, and/or Chinese noodles. Last night, though, we both wanted spaghetti. What we really wanted was spaghetti with Italian pork sausage, but that’s not an option here. But we were able to find fresh thyme and olive oil, so we made a simple Molto Mario tomato sauce with ground beef, spooned it over linguine, and served it with a salad with balsamic vinaigrette, a loaf of Italian bread, and a bottle of red wine. Oh yeah, and two beers (for TP). It totally hit the spot.
As an example of how unprepared we were, we had to buy the following things: thyme, onions, linguine, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, canned tomatoes, wine, and bread. We always have these readily available in the States. The only thing that we already had was garlic. Never fear, though. Tonight we are thinking about going to a Chinese hawker center for some fried fish.