In order to adequately appreciate the cultures of others, we often have to face our fears and recognize that fear is ignited by ignorance. Once we turn ignorance into knowledge, we realize there is nothing to fear. It is at that point that we can begin to make informed decisions.
I mention this because during my travels in Indonesia, I realize that I will have to face a few of my fears, mostly a fear of what I will eat. Anyone who knows me is aware that I am one of the world’s most picky eaters. I am more worried about what will land on my plate than anything else. However, I am sure that as the days go by, I will be faced with new fears that I will have to conquer.
Here are photos representing some of my Indonesian fears (conquered and unconquered).
Because I picked over breakfast, I was starving by the time this snack was distributed on the airplane. I had to face the fear of being embarrassed and ask the guy sitting next to me how to use the daggone chop sticks so I could eat!
Next to the cauliflower is a piece of tofu. I thought I was brave enough to try just one little piece but as soon as I cut it with my fork, I changed my mind. I couldn’t get over the unusual consistency of it.
One would think you can’t go wrong with simple noodles. That’s until I bit into something with a slightly thin, rubbery texture. At that exact moment, I remembered the episode of Vice where people in Columbia made a lot of dishes with goat intestines.