Saturday, January 22, 2011

A Grain of Rice

Victoria Day, Dundas Square, Toronto, May 23, 2011. Celebrating Victoria Day.

   I am like a Christmas stocking. I am short, I am skinny, but I have a huge stomach. My stomach starts at my feet and goes up to the head. All my body is stomach.
   Last night I went to an eat-what-you-can restaurant. The owner is an Asian man. He has one simple rule: if you do not eat up, you pay a 30-dollar penalty. I ate a lot. The owner came up to my table and congratulated me. I did not have to pay.
   I remember what my grandmother used to teach me when I was a little boy: ‘Do not throw away food. To grow a grain of rice is a lot of work.’ When we have leftovers, we offer them to our relatives, neighbours, or to the poor who knock on the back door of our house. People here put food in the garbage. They should work in the fields to grow rice and learn how to respect every grain.

Of Mice and People

Ballet Raices de Colombia, Harbourfront, Toronto

    ‘Did you hear about the people who eat mice? I ate mice.
    When I was on the way to the factory for the night shift, I would put mouse traps in the field. When I was coming back home from work in the morning, I would pick up the mice that got caught in the traps while I was working. I would cook the mice for breakfast. They were delicious. They tasted like chicken. I was very happy then.
    Mice in the countryside are good for eating. Mice in the city are not good for eating.’