Just so you know, I have an endless supply of food-related stories. I could go on for days about the hunting and gathering we do here. And here’s another one…

When we moved here, we knew we would not be able to eat the same way we do at home. I mean, we live in the Eastern bloc now. Surely, they don’t sell quadruple-stacked cheeseburgers and chocolate shakes here. And they don’t! But thinking in your head that food will be different and actually suffering the deprivation ON A DAILY BASIS are two different things. We really understand those Survivor challenges now. You know, like when they throw away the immunity idol for an Oreo cookie and you’re sitting at home thinking, “You fool, you’re going to risk getting voted off the island, lose a million dollars for a lousy Oreo cookie??? I would NEVER do that”. Turns out, yes you would!!

It’s not the fast food you miss, it’s the simple little items you find so easily in your cupboards at home, like Wheat Thins or Mac ‘N Cheese or Cheerios. So, within the first few days, we found a market and shopped. The only real breakfast foods they had there were very oat-y and grain-y cereals. I chose Fruit-X, which is essentially raw fiber and dried fruit. For my gluten-challenged relatives, that cereal would have sped up your digestive death, seriously. But we ate it, and even pretended we loved it. “Oh, this is good”, I would gurgle through my milk and fiber-filled mouth. “Oooh, and so healthy, too”, Mark would spit back. We were loyal to Fruit-X, until a few weeks ago…

…when we found another market. Yes, we cheated on our first market. We just assumed that all the markets carried the same basic items. You know, like how Ralphs and Albertsons have all the same stuff? Not here! They are all different. In the new market, we walked six steps to the very back of the store and saw a shiny, colorful cereal box that said “Cini-Minis” on it.


At first, we acted all cool about it:

“Oh, look, they have cereal here”.
“Hmmmm, interesting”.
“Well, should we get it?”
“Well, we may as well try it”. I mean, if you’re going to twist our arm and MAKE us do it, then we will.

The next day, we opened the top of the box, and the familiar, heavenly smell of wheat mixed with unnatural sugars and fat, combined with the sweet, sweet scent of cinnamon wafted out.

“HURRY IT UP. POUR IT INTO MY BOWL!!!” I screamed at Mark. I actually drooled. You know, that dangly piece of saliva that you don’t even realize is there until it drops on the table right in front of you, and then you try to wipe it up real fast so no one sees it, but then your husband calls you out, “GROOOOOSSSSSSSSS!!!” Yeah, well, that’s the kind of drool I had.

And I savored Every.Single.Bite. In both bowls. Then I calmly left the table, rinsed the dishes and slam-dunked the almost full bag of Fruit-X into the trashcan.