-been in the beautiful wedding of one of my best friends
-tearfully got through my very first wedding toast
-learned and executed the basic fineries of cosmetology
-made dinner in less than two hours (collaboratively) for 10 hungry women
-almost finished reading White Teeth by Zadie Smith
-drank a lot of dirty martinis compliments of my sister's boyfriend
-had a conversation that went until 4 AM with my sister
-caught up on Season 5 of Lost and watched the Season 6 premiere (and... !!!!)
...and many other things. In my time, one recurring theme has been my friends' and families' insistence that I was living a truly deprived life out in China, which is true in some ways. While I still insist that living in Beijing is not as bad as I make it seem sometimes, my deprived existence in China rings true in one instance, and one instance alone: when I encounter the mighty avocado.
photo courtesty of Shoothead via Flickr
Oh, avocados. It's a love it or hate it food, but I'm slightly convinced that the people who hate avocados have defunct palates. It actually became a joke with my friends that if anything on a menu had avocados in it, they immediately knew what I would be ordering. More often than not, they were right. But there is something so unique, wonderful, and absolutely satisfying in the mighty fruit that is difficult to explain.
I've tried to figure out what it is about the avocado that hits the spot. Is it its simplicity? Its creamy, smooth goodness? Or perhaps it's simply that they are so rare in China and even expensive back here at home.
What it comes down to is that the avocado needs nothing done to it. It is perfect as it is. Sure, put a little salt and a squeeze of lime on it for something extra, or pair it with a boring turkey sandwich and suddenly, you have magic between two slices of bread. But independently, avocado stands on its own as a near perfect food. Something that doesn't need to be tampered with. Humble at first glance and unassuming in its pear shape, there is perfect satisfaction in the perfect squeeze of your thumb on its cool skin and the buttery ease in which a knife cuts through it when you rotate it on the blade.
But isn't that the truth about all of our favorite things? It certainly is what I look forward to when I come home. The ease in which I am able to slide back into life here in the U.S. and still be pleasantly surprised by how wonderful and blessed my life is. The relationships that sit like worn-in chairs that wait for you to roll back into and get comfortable in. And just like with the avocado, coming home means encountering new interpretations of things I was familiar with (avocado and bacon ice cream, anyone?); and while some I disagree with (addiction to Smartphones and iPhones), some come as a welcome and informative surprise (playing Rock Band with my brother can significantly improve my eye-hand coordination!).
As I prepare to leave this wonderful, wonderful country that I have become so proud to call my home, I encourage you to think of me and my avocado-deprived life in China the next time you bite into that perfect, soothingly-hued morsel of heaven.
Cheers... and thank God for avocadoes.