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May 17th, 2006

crimes of the hot

The temperature was scorching once more today, but rather than take a third siesta in as many days I decided to sit in on another session of Anth 417. It would have been a shame to miss Jung Jae Hun take up fifteen minutes of class lamenting about how he often feels like a woman. On the other hand, his comment that "Northern Europe has more gender equality because they have a stronger tradition of hunting and gathering" was quite intriguing, although I'm not sure how much truth that statement contains.

I find it very odd that I can eat enchiladas verde and Salsa Verde Pringles without encountering any problems, yet the moment I consume more than two Salsa Verde Doritos my eccrine system goes into overdrive and I start to perspire like I've been dropped in the middle of the Sahara. It's probably not as blatantly obvious at the moment given the weather we've had for the past few days, but the first time I noticed how my body reacts was during the 1998 World Cup, when Germany played Iran (yes, I remember which match!) - which was much harder to hide. Apparently excessive perspiration is one of the few things to make me self-aware during a World Cup fixture.

Another problem appears when I eat a number of Korean dishes, as the use of chile pepper paste sends my taste buds into a tizzy. Don't get me wrong, the food always tastes fantastic, but my reaction is enough to make me check for a readily-available supply of water when I'm eating out at Korean restaurants. Sticky rice is an even better alternative to water, unless it's the rice used to make dolsot bibimbap (돌솥 비빔밥). It looks like it should help, but that's only a subtle disguise.

Mimi and Mrs. Ku are both accustomed to my reaction to Korean cuisine, but, while visiting a Japanese restaurant with the Ku family last spring, Kyo Wook was left in awe at my ability to eat sashimi with wasabi (山葵). He couldn't understand how I was able to eat a root that tasted so strongly, but perhaps it's simply a matter of the vapors from wasabi burning my sinus cavity less than the vapors from chile peppers burn my tongue?

If sweating in the summer is good for you these chips may as well be health food ...