Sunday, 28 March 2010

of falafel and bad attitudes

It’s a well known fact amongst aficionados that the best Mexican food comes from either a hole in the wall grubby restaurant (often located in some obscure strip-mall) or the ever popular ‘burrito wagon’ parked in an equally obscure parking lot. I think it’s a reasonable conjecture to include hot dogs and Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches in this rule as well. Hot, authentic, greasy and wrapped in thin paper that sticks to the food and stinks up the inside of your car for weeks. All washed down by an ice cold coke. Side note: I’ve always wondered how those wagons get the coke so stinkin’ cold. It’s like magic.

I live in England now, though. No burrito wagons. No hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurants either. It’s a sad, sad state of affairs, and quite frankly has been a thorn in the side of this whole pregnancy.

I took a little trip to Forest Row this week. A cute, hippie village about 35 minutes from here. What was scheduled as an hour-long acupuncture session ended up being a much needed 2-hour heart to heart and an attitude adjustment.

See, I feel like a beached whale. A glimpse of myself has me thinking ‘fun house mirror’ these days. My maternity tops no longer cover my belly. Anything that isn’t knit or draw string cuts into my skin and makes it difficult to breathe. My poor feet can only be squashed into my Uggs. Even my nose and lips are larger than their usual proportions. Then there’s all the fun that comes with this 38 ½ week size. The jerking/ rolling/ propelling movement to get myself out of bed or the front seat of the car. The rests at the top of stair cases. The million trips to the bathroom. Add to that the intense emotional stuff and let’s just say I’m over it. I’m more than over it. I have a bad attitude.

So this week, the acupuncturist asked the right question. I poured my heart out and it helped. Disappointment. Pain. Frustration. This has been a hell of a pregnancy in the emotions department. People I love have died and are dying. Pain and trauma of years past finally brought to the surface to be dealt with because it can’t be shoved back down—there’s no room for baby and pain. Baggage agitated by people letting me down. To top it all off there’s no effing Mexican food. What’s a craving pregnant girl to do? How does one comfort eat when the correct comfort food isn’t available?!?!

Turns out, eat falafel. There’s a great health food store in Forest Row. I bought the difficult-to-find-elsewhere booty just in the nick of time before they closed and headed to the car. And there it was. The falafel wagon. Parked in an alley behind the store. Like manna from heaven. Greasy, wrapped in nasty, sticky paper. Sold with an ice-cold coke and damn if it wasn’t—of course—the best falafel I have ever eaten.

I sat in the car in the pouring rain and admired the hundreds of daffodils blooming in the grass all around the parking lot. I mmmm’d and ahhhh’d over the ridiculously good falafel and felt so much better. And a paradigm shift occurred (or at least began to occur). One simple word change that helped. Instead of waiting around for this baby to come. Disappointed. Huge. Grumpy. I switched to anticipating. Waiting is what we do in angst and boredom. Anticipation is the thing that makes the falafel wagon jump out at us in all of its culinary glory. We see it because we are looking for something good. Eager. Excited. Expecting the best. And boy did it deliver.

This baby will come. I won’t be huge forever. The pain and disappointment will heal. And as it does, thank GOD I now know where to get the good falafel.

No comments: