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Sugar and spice and salt that is not so nice…

Well, it looks like we have hit some dead end roads on the food this week. Really, if I am being technical, it is more of a dead end road on the drinks, not the food. It all began on Sunday when we ate at my language nurturer’s house in the city and she “forgot” and made salty coffee instead of regular coffee. I personally think she was mad at me about something and decided to get revenge on me by “accidentally” salting the coffee. She knows I don’t like salty coffee and I even brought sugar to the house when I came, so all I’m saying is that there are no excuses for that situation. Sarah and I literally choked it down silently cursing the fresh wave of discomfort our stomachs were feeling.

I can’t remember if I have mentioned before on here that the people in the region where I live tend to put salt in their coffee instead of sugar. Rumor has it that this tradition began because they were too poor to put sugar in their coffee and you can’t drink coffee around here without putting something in it, so the item of choice became salt and then once they got used to drinking it that way, the habit stuck. People, I am telling you it is like drinking ocean water! And it feels about as good sitting in your stomach as you think it would!  My life would be complete if I never drank another cup in my life…but that doesn’t seem likely now does it? I’ve been told by the locals around here that one American guy went cup for salty cup with a local and put down 5 cups of the stuff! He must have a stomach of steel!

On Wednesday, we were invited to one of the goat site worker’s homes for lunch and coffee. Actually the food and coffee there were all delicious, but we ate so much to appease them that I really thought I might never eat food again. After the second cup (of non-salty) coffee, they wanted us to have two more. Luckily, we are close enough to these people that we felt free to tell them that that wasn’t going to happen. No food mishaps there, but we left with a belly full of greasy food and sugary coffee. We had planned another house visit for that afternoon, but knew there was no way we were getting down anymore local food or coffee that day, so we called it a day on the visits.

Thursday, we made a visit to a girl we have befriended here in our town. She made the sweetest tea you can imagine, served hot. The tea tastes really good, but there is so much sugar in it that I can’t handle much of it. She absolutely insisted that I drink at least two cups of tea and eat at least two pieces of bread (think 6” hoagie buns) and about every three minutes she was telling me to eat more of the roasted barley that is often served as a snack here. No matter how much I insisted that I didn’t want any more or that I was absolutely full, she was adamant that I eat more. It took me a little while to learn to fake eating the barley. My dumb self grabbed handful after handful of barley everytime she offered it and I left with a bit of a stomach ache. I went to bed at 10:00 that night still with a stomach ache. Apparently whole grains are not easy to digest…

Yesterday, we went on another house visit and were served some sugary sweet hot tea, which I willingly drank a glass of thinking that was all I was going to have to do. Welp, next came the salty coffee even though I had already blatantly told them I didn’t want any. We just couldn’t do it. We made it through about half a cup and considered ourselves rude and called it a day. That night, it was Sarah’s turn to go to bed with a stomach ache.

As for me and Sarah, we are about ready to get back to some manual labor and not quite so many house visits next week. Actually, we have another one scheduled for this afternoon…… can’t wait…..

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