Some Observations While Traveling Felix Wong

A few things I’ve noticed since being away from home for a few weeks:

  • Rain (something I have not seen in Fort Collins since mid-October) is something that can get old pretty quickly. Out here in Northern California, I have not seen the sun in a week. Yes, a whole week! Well, not quite since the sun came out on Monday when I had lunch with Lisa, but that’s about it.
  • I am now pretty certain that I prefer the colder-but-sunny winters of CO over the less-cold-but-grey-and-wet winters of CA. The former is much cheerier.
  • I also prefer snow over rain most of the time—snow is much prettier, and at least one stays dry. That said, I much prefer to drive in rain than in snow, but that may have something to do with driving sports cars completely ill-equipped to handle snow.
  • Speaking of cars, apparently there is a quicker and more innocent way to kill a German luxury car than, say, running into a tree or into a ditch. All you have to do—so my dad learned first hand—is drive home on a really rainy day, and 200 meters from the house, drive through a completely flooded stretch of road. Doing so not only shorts out all of the vital electronics, but if the water is deep enough, incompressible H20 gets into the engine, mangling all valves and pistons, and requires replacing the engine altogether. The damage done to the car? $30000! That is not a misprint of misplaced zeros—it was a total loss. Thank goodness it was covered by insurance, and my dad was okay.
  • I knew that while traveling my eating habits would go to crap, but to my surprise, that has not occurred so much while eating out, but rather, at my mom and dad’s place. This is because my folks subscribe to the Better Stock Up In Case of Famine philosophy, or maybe it’s because they do all of their shopping at Costco. For example, the pantry (about the size of a bedroom in a San Francisco apartment) is loaded with items such as a five-pound bag of tortilla chips (“only $3!”), a bag of bread rolls large enough for a family of 15, a few 24-pack boxes of ramen noodles, etc. While this guarantees that no one was going to starve if World War III broke out tomorrow, the temptation of readily edible non-perishable no-cooking-needed food completely overwhelmed any urge to actually cook food in an unfamiliar kitchen. So I have already consumed more processed foods in the last two weeks than I have in the last four months.

Um, that’s all of the observations for now. I leave California for a weekend trip to Oregon with a friend tomorrow, and then it’s back to Colorado. Where the sun is still shining, I hope!

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One comment on Some Observations While Traveling

  1. Comment by JimB

    Hi Felix – sorry to hear of the car troubles.

    I agree on the bad food driving temptation theory. I lived and worked on my own in LA for a while and by shopping at Trader Joe’s for clean/healthy foods I managed to avoid the temptation of processed foods.

    I now live with my wife in NYC and while I certainly do lots of home cooking so we eat healthy, the biggest challenge is the between meal snacks that sit in the refrigerator and can really drive temptation. The only way I can control this is to go food shopping alone so that the junk does not end up in te shopping cart. I think it really does all start with managing your inputs right at the grocery store.

    Cheers, Jim

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