Wasting Travel Time on Food

August 7, 2011


Recently, I asked a friend living in Portland to do some shopping on my behalf and ship said items to Korea. Nothing too fancy: Reese’s, apple sauce, gingerbread, etc. Some things that are next to impossible to find here. As far as my taste buds were concerned, it was a wise decision. My wallet thought differently; it cost 76USD to deliver 40USD worth of product overseas. You don’t need an accountant to tell you just how stupid that purchase was.

So why did I do it? I’ve always been a sucker for food. Even before I started living abroad, I made frivolously expensive choices about where to eat, what to buy. I regularly drove 30 km to get Rudy’s BBQ in Austin. During my time in NYC, I took the subway with two transfers just to get some of those Magnolia cupcakes. Through all of this, I knew I wasn’t getting out of the food the money I was putting in. I just couldn’t seem to make myself act responsibly in this regard, because, let’s face it, food is so delicious. And when you’ve got a craving and the means to satisfy it, what else can one do?

Here are some of the more ridiculous distances I’ve traveled and money I’ve spent for the sake of food:

  • Walking for two hours, including one kilometer through a dirty highway tunnel, to reach a mountainside restaurant in western Japan.
  • Using my lunch break for an editing position in Austin, Texas to drive north for 20 minutes to the nearest Whole Foods, grab an overpriced lunch and wolf it down in 20 minutes, and drive back.
  • Disembarking the shinkansen at Okayama, en route to Hakata, just to stock up on Dr. Pepper at Jupiter Imports.

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