Sunday, April 11, 2010

Things I've learned about myself

One of the things I like so much about being here is learning new things about myself; actually, I always like learning new things, no matter where I am. This is why I ask a lot of intrusive personal questions, because I long ago found out that people are so startled by them that they answer truthfully. This goes over well when you're a therapist, not so well when you're on the bus.

But traveling always throws a lot about you into sharp relief. You learn about how you react under pressure ("Ahhhhh, I missed the only bus out of Nice!"), how you feel about certain situations ("Ahhhhhhh they want me to eat cockroaches!"), and the hilarious meanings in Lonely Planet language phrasebooks ("Ahhhhhh it has a section on sex that has phrases like "Touch my eyes/breasts/hair/face" and "You can't stay here tonight" in Swahili!").

For me, I've mostly learned lately that I seem to be allergic to milk.

This sucks for two, equally bad reasons. The first is that now I have to be one of those smug, irritating people who drinks oat milk, eats Rice Dream and soy cheese, and says, "Oh, no thank you, I can't haaaaaaave that -- it has daaaaaaaiiiiiiiry."

The second is, I have to eat soy cheese.

The only thing on earth I love more than breathing is cheese. I LOVE CHEESE. A lot. To the point where one of the main reasons why I don't particularly want to live in many parts of the US is because they don't have good aged cheddar. To the point where I happily ate pretty much nothing but chèvre the entire time I was in France, with absolute disregard for what anyone else wanted to eat. To the point where I have cheesy garlic bread with my pizza. I have frequently been given cheese for Christmas, and it was my favorite present.

But now, due to the alarming stomach cramps and other interesting symptoms (I won't bore you, but you can Google "lactose intolerance" if you're really interested) I seem to get as a direct result of consuming milk, I am reduced to only eating cheese if I really want to suffer some consequences...or more accurately, if I really want everyone AROUND me to suffer some consequences.

Oh, also, you know what else has milk in it? Chocolate.

It's also possible that I am allergic to Red Bull, or at least that it has something in it that strongly disagrees with me. The allergen jury is still out, and the allergen jury mostly consists of me noticing the day after eating something that I'm in horrible gastrointestinal pain and some other stuff I'm too delicate to mention because I'm a lady, and then trying to figure out what I ate the previous day, forgetting, then remembering and thinking, "I can't possibly have a problem with THAT."

So mostly I'm engaging in fun experiments with the art of farting quietly in public.


B said...


... so you don't want us to send that care package of 7 yr old Canadian cheddar then?

... or you are allergic to something the cows were fed or injected with, or you have something else in your stomach that is using your body's capacity to digest that.

Sharp11Girl said...

I love cheese...but I only can eat is very rarely, because I am a lard butt. :( The point is, I feel your pain.

Laura Hagglund said...

I know how you feel! I LOVE dairy, and I've been lactose intolerant for years. There's pretty good lactose free cheese that you can get at health food stores. It's organic and just tastes like a nice aged chedder. Depending on the severity of your intolerance, you may be able to handle small amounts of dairy in chocolate or coffee/tea. You can also experiment with the generic brand of Lactaid (don't buy the real thing - such a rip off) Taking the enzyme with the dairy can be helpful.
In the end you might find that you just have a touch of IBS brought on by your travels. Try Alfalfa pills- they really help digestion.(from experience) And might I say you're lucky you get to fart! My issue is the gas stays INSIDE. I've learned to celebrate farting. lol. I wish I could do it more!