Friday, December 16, 2011

A Taste of Home. Coping Mechanism 1.

Before I came here in Deutschland, I know that the biggest challenge I will face will be homesickness. So people left and right are trying to reach me up to the last minute to assure that they can bid goodbyes, instructions, advices and share ways on how to survive the overseas life. Well, people with experiences away from home understand a lot how it feels far and alone, especially I am up to finishing my two-year study before going home. (Erm, not final, subject to changes.)

My program requires me to stay siebenhundert einunddrei├čig Tage (731 daysor more depending on my final year of study which will be in Rome. More than a hundred days had passed, and a lot more. Counting it now by days gives me a deep sigh and longing that clock will turn faster.

Fun. Flight. Fight. Fit. Tita Lily told me that these are the four Fs one may undergo whenever outside the country for a relatively long period of time.  She said I should define where I am and constantly check on it so I know how to react on things. Where I am there? Hmm, I have to say I am not sure since it is a mixture of all. 

Two weeks ago, Linda (my German flatmate) and I were discussing about the increase in prices because of the uncertainties brought by the oil producing countries. For this reason, she is consulting me for the possible increase in some household expenses (especially demand for heat at this part of the year is high). Ways on  how we can use our 'energy' sources wisely was proposed. In this light, one of my coping mechanisms was threatened.

I had no concrete lists of how to cope up with the feeling of being low and sad, however, I just discovered lately that cooking became one of my means to manage this overseas-homesickness. As i told in my earlier post, I was not the best cook in the family, however, with the magic hand of God, everything I cook became an absolute hit! 

"...Cooking became one of my means to manage this overseas-homesickness."

Adobong Baboy Espesyal. Pork adobo never fails
to satisfy a hungry stomach...
The day Adobo became special - 10 days after my arrival in Darmstadt. It was a feast of the scents that made my heart smile. Soy sauce and vinegar in perfect harmony with peppercorns, Laurel leaf and lots of garlic. I cooked a lot and stored it as my comfort food for some days. Indeed, like wine, Adobo became fantastic when aged. Adobo is one of the Philippine common dish served with rice - can be pork, beef, chicken (or mixture of the three), fish or vegetables (usually with sitaw or eggplant). One can also add boiled egg, potatoes and sometimes hotdog.

The dawn of Filipino cuisine to the German palate (and plate). Because of my adobo attempts' success stories, I gained a lot of confidence to introduce this dish and cook for my German friends. Mia and Basty invited me, plus Stefi. They experienced chicken adobo with boiled egg, potatoes and rice. It was a big hit that Mia was trying to save every drop of adobo sauce! And Stefi volunteered herself for the next Filipino food I will cook. It was amazing as well that adobo blends well with red or white wine that Basty served.
Quaint experiences. It was my first time to eat adobo using fork and knife. For my German friends, eggs are usually for breakfast. Rice is an occasional substitute for potato, not potato AND rice, but potato OR rice. However, this dish made the 'unusual order' of eating possible. Egg for dinner, rice and potato plus the wonderful adobo. "Sehr lecker," sagen sie. ("Very delicious," they say).

The next adobo espesyal was served to my International Student Group. Every now and then we have international nights where one can share about his/her country. So it was my turn. During the Filipino night I served adobo and chopsuey. Once more, a success story! This time not just for the German taste but for Cameroonian, Columbian, and Indonesian alike.

A lot of my cooking experiences here are very soothing. A therapeutic occurrence which transports me to another dimension. Every mouthful of food I cook brings me back home, a memory which transcends geographical boundaries! Hmmm, feels and tastes home.


  1. baby i'm happy for you that you found cooking a unique experience there. I love you so much. Uwi na para wala nang homesick homesick na ya. hehe.

  2. I was once or maybe a number of times terribly homesicked when I was in Thailand. After looking back at it, I's the best years of my life. God meant it for good and I believe that how it is for you too. HAPPY COOKING!