It's exam time... and my mind will only think in abbreviated list form. sigh.
Things that are under appreciated:
Pigeons - it wasn't until I got to new york that I realized people didn't love pigeons... that actually pigeons were something disliked.
The calming, scurrying sound their little claws make, and the soft cooing, the rustling of their wings as it releases caught dust.. oh pigeons. =]
My childhood memory of pigeons was the scene in mary poppins with the pigeons swirling "feed the birds.. tuppence a bag". In the summers when we visited Korea, every morning my brother and I would beg my mom to let us go on the hour walk up a mountain with my grandmother to feed the pigeons with handfuls of sweet popped corn.
I tried feeding pigeons once at wash sq park, only to get some woman snap in horror, "what, why are you feeding them!? are you actually feeding them??"
I fed pigeons one last time at a plaza in venice during a year abroad (where this was actually encouraged) I held the birdseed in my hands, scattered it on my arms, running as pigeons landed on me as my friends watched in horror.
And now, since I've moved to hong kong, pigeons feed us, as a culinary dish. For some reason the restaurants always serve them in deconstructed broiled pieces with the head proudly propped on the plate. As if the customers need some more proof that the bird has truly been conquered.
There's something operatic about it. "Where's its head?! bring me the head of this bird! So that it can gaze at me while I feed upon it."
mayonnaise - mayonnaise is so good.. I know it's unhealthy and like butter, might as well be a product of demons.
In new york there were many butter haters - this woman at the office cafeteria would order her omelette with a frantic intensity, "egg whites. only the whites. no noo butter, no butter no butter! and a spritz of - hello! JUST a spritz please of Pam."
While I'd be getting my bowl of grits with tabs of butter melted in.. and she would walk past me and leave me with a glance of pitied disgust.
but yes. mayonnaise makes everything better.
During nutritionally dark days in london (and economic semi-darkish days), if I was tired of ketchup and peas or wanted to refrain from eating oatmeal for dinner.. I'd treat myself to rice with mayo mixed in.
mmm. try it.
electric fans - Korean people have this "medical" fear of electric fans. Specifically of sleeping with one on or blowing on your face in a closed room. It is believed that this will kill you. It's called 'fan death'. I don't really know the explanation, I've heard all the different ones from: your body forgets to breathe, or the fan takes all the air out of the room in some air vortex, or your body develops hypothermia... And most Korean people I know will say this in all seriousness. Colleges do tests and there've been several scientific studies on the mystery of 'fan death'. (All the theories are listed on wikipedia - 'fan death')
When I was little, I asked my mom if death by hypothermic air vortex was the reason she would never let me sleep with a fan on, she said that no, she just wanted to save money on electricity.
That explanation made more sense.