We always envisioned that living overseas would open our kids’ minds to new experiences – and it has. They learned to speak fluent Spanish (even though they promptly forgot all of it as soon as we left Mexico). We’ve noticed Jonah using an Indian head shake on more than one occasion. Because he goes to an international school, Flynn knows the names of more countries than most teenagers in the US, not to mention their flags. (But let’s not talk about how many US states he knows. That number is just a bit low.)
The one area where living abroad hasn’t translated into more open minds is in their eating habits. They wouldn’t touch tacos in Mexico and haven’t seemed to develop a taste for biryani. In fact, the most foreign eating habit they have picked up was insisting on dipping their pizza in ketchup, which is both very common in Mexico and also quite gross. We thought they’d be eating American food forever, at least until a couple months ago. Mostly through peer pressure from his Japanese and Korean friends, Flynn has forced us to buy boxes and boxes of seaweed, which he happily eats as a snack. Jonah always tells us about all the chapati, curd rice, and beetroot he eats at school and is worried he won’t be able to find any in the US. Yesterday he was telling us about another food he had at school which sounded so exotic I had never even heard of it. Then I realized he was talking about tic tacs, but that’s another story.
Despite their sudden willingness to try new foods, we still find ourselves eating normal old American food most nights for dinner. It’s what we know how to cook. Tonight it was grilled chicken, carrots, and apples. Maybe tomorrow we’ll see if the kids will try that biryani, just as long as we have some PB&J and seaweed as a backup.