Writing left handed

Have Coffee, Will Conference

Later this month, because I’m every bit at schizophrenic in my approach to professional development as I am in my approach to men, I’m taking some time “off” to deliver a paper at the annual conference of the Congress on Research in Dance.

(And just in case that’s not geeky enough, the conference is co-sponsored by the Society for Ethnomusicology this year.  Also, rest assured: the dating talk will resume on Monday, especially as I’ll be seeing The Wedding Date in less than week [!] but in the meantime, I needed a quick break from all this talk of emotional polygamy.)

I’m particularly excited about this conference, not because I have any great confidence in the paper I’m to deliver (it has yet to… materialize) but because three of my favorite professors are also presenting and they’ll be arriving from London in less than two weeks.

I received an email from one asking if there was anything in particular I would like her to bring from the UK.

Would I ever!

The British Isles aren’t exactly known for their culinary arts (mushy peas, anyone?) but their instant, just-add-water products are second to none.  To this end, I have asked for a jar of Oxfam instant coffee and two boxes of instant soup.

Instant coffee

Heaven on a spoon...

Admittedly, I’m a bit embarrassed to be asking a world-renown scholar to bring me a bunch of freeze-dried cup-o-soups and dehydrated coffee but what can I say?  Instant coffee doesn’t suck in the UK like it does here—in fact it’s actually socially acceptable to drink across the pond!

I brought a jar home with me the last time I went to London and guarded it with the tenacity of a crack whore.  (Actually, I’m not sure that crack whores are all that tenacious when they’re under the influence, but you get the point: instant coffee from the US is a waste of natural resources; instant coffee from the UK is worth its weight in gold.)  Unfortunately, it’s been a while since I’ve set foot on British soil—way too long, actually—and my stash has long since run dry.

And on that note, I should probably do something about that paper.  Like, you know, start writing it.

In the meantime, I hope that I’m not the only one who has a thing for weird “souvenirs.”  Anyone else?

13 Responses to “Have Coffee, Will Conference”

  1. sarahnsh

    When me and my mom were last in London together just the two of us we had to get all these sugar packets and sugar cubes for her one friend because she collected them. I always thought that was quite a weird thing to collect.

    And when I went there I didn’t drink coffee, I was in my teens, so had no clue the instant coffee is so amazing!

  2. Lost in France

    I love mushy peas. Fish, chips and mushy peas sitting looking at the sea. Heaven.
    When we lived in the States, it was English chocolate that we need to have sent in food parcels, and Heinz baked beans.
    Once we returned to the UK, my then wife missed things like pumpkin pie spice. The kids missed goldfishes and I missed Reese’s Peanut butter cups.

  3. chauffeur

    Sorry, instant coffee form the UK, the US, where ever, is still instant. (nasty and only to be consumed in emergencies)

  4. Kate Ferguson Writes

    from Germany, “Puffreissschockolade” – a puffy rice-cake-like chococlate-smothered snack and also “Haselamrk” a delicious nutty bar cloaked in edible paper.
    I’m just back from Philadelphia actually and from there I crave the pear and ginger white tea my sister got from Trader Joe’s!

  5. The Prof

    Entirely agree with the chaufeur on this but we all have our foibles… My mother had to travel across the globe with jars of cornichons when I lived in Australia!
    Now ‘pear and ginger white tea’ sounds like something interesting!

  6. Debbie

    My response to the same question was dark chocolate Kit Kat bars… We are SUCH gourmets!

  7. Landlord

    Magnum DOUBLE DARK chocolate ice cream bars, they are starting to sell only the bland regular bars here and a white tea with vanilla, YUM, baseball bat sized bars of DARK toblerone, although you can get them here, they often have $ALE$ abroad. I remember bringing peanut butter to our hosts in France, because they couldn’t get that there.

  8. Discount Bakery Boxes

    Well said, I could not agree more with you on this issue. I think your blog is very popular on this topic judging by all the other comments posted to it. I just wanted to leave a comment to appreciate your hard work.


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