The Traveler’s Curse

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“I need Korean sushi!” I hollered, to no one in particular. “Why can’t I get Korean sushi in San Diego?”

I’ve lived all over the States as well as in several countries, have traveled pretty extensively, and have had friends since childhood from all over the world. Which is terribly interesting, exciting, broadening, enlightening, but…

I have addictions to all sorts of things that I just can’t get here. Or at least not easily. Like Korean sushi. I want a Korean sushi roll, and a nice steaming bowl of Miso soup. When we were in Japan, I had breakfast off of the Japanese portion of the buffet. Who doesn’t want miso soup for breakfast?

Mind you, I’d settle for some lovely Sag Aloo, but not the kind you get in regular Indian restaurants. The type with big chunks of ginger in it. Or the one with Tandoori chicken in it. And nan - I’m desperate for nan! And I really need some of those fabulous Chinese desserts made from sweet rice jelly (I think it is). Or the big poofy ones with sweet rice paste in the middle. Yum! Or how about a really good croissant, the kind you can only get in France (or Montreal). You know, the ones that are basically solid butter?

And then there are my state-side addictions which just aren’t available here. Maple sugar candy. And Pączki (Polish jelly donuts). My favorite thing about Lent was always pączki day.

Some things are just hard to find (or expensive), or I have to make them myself. I drink Jasmine Dragon Pearl green tea for breakfast (bought in Shanghai, China) and make my own chai in the afternoons from a recipe given to me by an Indian friend. Both of which require, you know, expensive ingredients.

The traveler’s curse, you see, is that you’ll never again find everything you desire in one place…

The top photo shows me in Zhouzhuang, China. I’m the one in disguise in the white hat. Note that I’m head and shoulders taller than everyone else. The middle photo is a tea shop in Shanghai, China. The bottom photo shows a man making toffee in Zhouzhuang. All photos are copyright Andrew Hollingsworth. All rights reserved.