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The Magic Kingdom of Churros

Posted in Churros, Travel by Angry Topher on November 5, 2009

I have a tendency to worry about things that I can do nothing about.  One of the worries causing me unnecessary stress is what I am going to do when I graduate from college.   While I know that I want be a magazine journalist and National Geographic is my dream job; I am struggling to find what specifically I want to write about.   For a while I was thinking about travel writing.  What could possible be better than having a magazine to pay me to go traveling, which I love, and then further pay me to write about it, which I also love.  But, I came across a problem: I tend to associate everyplace I go with a food.

Great travel writing has a grand themes, and the writer makes a grand observation about the locale, or humanity, or some grand discovery about themselves.  Me, most of my travel memories revolve around food, and the places I ate it.  What exactly I mean is this; if you asked me to name the first thing that came into my head about my many trips to southern California I would likely tell you about Killer Pizza from Mars, a dumpy pizza place filled with great pizza and sci-fi memorabilia.

A more relate able example is  Disneyland, The Happiest Place on Earth (trademark).  My strongest memory of this place is not Space Mountain, or Mickey Mouse but Strawberry Churros (a regular Churro covered in a red powder that tastes like Kool-Aid), especially one from a cart near the exit late at night.  In California Adventure, right next door, my thoughts turn to a chocolate milk shake bought at a booth with a name that is something about earthquakes. Sure I remember the rides and cartoon characters just like everyone else does, but I always think of Churros before anything else.

I suppose this is not a bad thing.  Even though I have memories of foods that I have eaten at National Parks that are almost stronger than the memories of the sublime scenes of nature found there, most of my travel memories are happy, and none bad much less traumatic.  I can only think of one bad food memory is some rather unpleasant tacos in a shop in Sonoma (outside of San Fransisco), and despite this San Fransisco is one of my favorite cities. This phenomenon could be attributed to an over-active stomach, but I think it is something different.  These food memories are of foods, or places unique to that place.  Maybe these eating experiences are my subconscious’ way of  remembering what a place like, and what make it special.

By writing this essay, I learned something about myself, and about the world through my travel.  Maybe I can do this travel writing thing after all.



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