12 August 2009

Xenophobe vs. Xenophile

I realized just yesterday, as I was perusing some past entries here, just how frequently I espouse the superiority of non-American cultures. I am, to use a term borrowed from humour writer Robert Lanham, a bit of a hexpatriate, an "expatriate who never actually [left] the county. They just speak ill of (hex) America's corruption and lack of refinement." However, one finds oneself in a strange predicament as a xenophile in a predominantly xenophobic culture--it leaves me in a constant state of unrest as I continually plan my life elsewhere, instead of living what I have to live here.

On the subject of xenophilia, I must expose my new obsession: Bento! O-bento is Japanese lunch in a box. The Japanese are the only culture to my knowledge to glorify the lunchbox as much as they do! Bento is packed in a compartmented box and bought from a shop or packed at home, and often included all sort of delicious finger-foods, like rice balls, pickled fruits and vegetables, sushi, fish, and eggs. Here's a pic:
Cute, no? Mothers often take special care packing their children's lunches, as you can see, to be cute. Look at the little seaweed faces on the rice and egg!

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