So, I'm just doing some nutritional slumming today and eating kraft dinner for lunch (for those of you in the US, that would be the inferior non-Kraft brand maccaroni and cheese), and it reminded me of a funny story. I think of this every time I make Kraft dinner.
I used to work at this garden centre, and I was the only white employee there (and the only one born in Canada). The family that ran the place was from Taiwan, and the other employees were all from India. I usually made and ate my lunch in the office with the Taiwaneese family.
One day I was in a hurry, and didn't want to bother making a sandwich, so I grabbed a pot, a box of KD, and a little container with some milk and butter. At lunch time, my boss was curious because I was boiling some water on her hotplate. She became even more interested when I took out a box and dumped some noodles into the pot. By the time the noodles were boiled, she and a family friend who hung out at the garden centre when he was in Canada came to watch what I was going to make. I explained to them that this was the Canadian version of instant noodles, and they ooed and aahed as I took out the butter and the milk, and they watched me mix it all together. I told them I had enough that they could try some, and you could see them getting more and more excited.
Then I took out the instant cheese packet and dumped it into the pot. Their faces fell. They were dismayed and a little bit disgusted that I had put powdered cheese on the noodles. I asked them if they wanted any.
My boss shook her head and said, "Ah, Jill, you forget. I'm a good Buddhist. I don't eat cheese." She and her friend walked away, shaking their heads and chatting in Mandarin. So much for intercultural understanding and experimentation.