So a month has passed since I last posted – where I also promised that I would be posting the final two entries in the “next few days.” Oops. A month has passed and all of us are now back at Duke. We see each other around campus (a lot!) and wave hi. Mark and Emily creepily sit behind me and to my right in my Politics & Literature class (haha I joke about the creepiness but it is nice seeing their faces on Mondays and Wednesdays). Emily, Ryann, and I are all in the same Enviro 101 class. Polly is my roommate. Polly, Ryann, and Emily take very age-appropriate and pro-vegan pictures at Tailgate (hehe). Brad and I continue to talk about Asians and you can spot him walking around the main quad in his Ray Bans and inappropriately colored shorts (:P). John sends us daily digests way too often (does this kid do work?) and plans awesome weekly True Blood viewings. He also helped me lock my bike once, after he locked his own bike and noticed a confused girl (me) trying to shove her recently rented DukeBike into the racks at Sanford. Harrison hides in a lab doing research and walks around with his nalgene (as do I!). He’s also the mountain bike trip coordinator for Outing Club; I totally didn’t sign-up for the Outing Club’s listserv and creep on him… I also met Mark’s roommate at the Link one day.
My friend posted this on my Facebook the other day: ”I ate a steak a couple days ago and guess who I thought of??? PPP (unless… you’re still sort of vegetarian… and then I’ll feel bad for telling you about steak, haha).” and then this comment followed: “ting ting’s a vegetarian?!?! this is the girl who everyday at practice would talk about how much she loved red meat and how she was going to have it for dinner lol.”
I am back to being a meat eater. However, I do eat way less meat. It’s true. Sometimes, I just want a salad. AHHHHH. But honestly, yes, Ting-Ting is eating less animals. Ryann has also gone back to being vegetarian (mostly) as have some of the rest of us too. Not everyone though.. not everyone :]. Our Environ 101 professor was actually talking about that today and she mentioned how she is vegetarian 1/7 of the week (on Mondays) and that there are 6 other people in this pact, so together, they make one vegetarian. Huh.
But more about Portland food.
IT IS DELICIOUS.
Their cuisine is truly “localvore” and everything’s always super fresh and mostly healthy. There’s also a TON of vegetarian and vegan restaurants, not to mention restaurants that are super friendly to the plant-eaters. You no longer have to think about what to avoid and where will be most appetizing. A lot of places are pretty expensive though. At one end of the spectrum, you have the foodcarts where a very fulfilling lunch (plus some) will only be about $5, $7 max. At the other end of the spectrum, Portland has some very fancy shmancy restaurants where entrees run in the $20-30 range. There’s also tons of cultural restaurants – we tried an Ethiopian place and several Thai places, but there’s also Lebanese and many many more. I never did find the bibimbop lady though.. she was supposed to be the owner of one awesome traveling foodcart.
So what have been the responses I received from friends/peers afterward?
Let’s start with the DukeEngage Academy, where everything was vegetarian. The reactions were basically all along the lines of: “OMG WHAT WAS WRONG WITH THE FOOD. THERE WAS NO MEAT! I HAD TO MAKE A CHIK-FIL-A RUN.” When I told them that was because of our program, people just rolled their eyes.
Other people believe I’m still vegetarian or loudly ask me what is wrong with me. Vegetarians laugh as I talk about how I attempted to be vegetarian for breakfast and lunch but had to succumb once dinner came around.
Other people talk about how “easy” it is. Now that I’ve experienced it a little, I can definitely see that perspective.
Okay cool. I have papers to write, readings to finish, cookies to eat, meetings to attend, and places to bike to! :]