Saturday, February 19, 2011

Icecream In Winter

Life is forever blissful amongst Americans. They never slow down whatever they do. Mind you, in winter they still jog. They never mind the weather. Not the coldness of the day. They don their short. Put on their singlets. With their jogging shoes they jog as usual. As if it is summer. Wheather never bother them. Life just goes on as usual. Not to be deplored. Never to be grieved. As I mentioned in my earlier entry, winter is the season Americans indulged seriously in whatever they do. Time to go down to serious business. Low temperature is never a deterent to them. I observed that they are very adaptable to whatever situation. Nothing bother them. It is something natural. They live with it. In fact, they live it. Winter is considered as a simple change of weather. Just another season.

There is something unimagineable. Or maybe unthinkable. In winter Americans love to take icecream. Many may think that they go bongker in winter. Doing something absured. Let examined the situation. They never take icecrean in the open of course. Not outside their houses. They patronize icecream parlours. Make their choices. Enjoy their heart out. Yes inside the store (American terminology). Shop to us here in Malaysia. Remember what I wrote about coffee? The whole store was filled with only and only coffee. Not a single other thing. It goes the same with icecream. The whole store is simply stacked with them. Different varieties. Different colours. Different tastes. Different ingredients. Different brands. Icecream and icecream all around.

In winter, icecream parlours become meeting places amongst friends. They are simply bustling with people enjoying icecream. They enjoy each others' company. The snow, the ice, the cold weather outside are never taken into accont. Not an important factor. Life just goes on. It is just routine. Nothing change in their life pattern. Why? Inside the parlours the temperature is just warm enough. Warm to their heart. Warm to make them adjust the crave for icecream. I was curious enough every time I passed along such parlours. So many people were enjoying their favourite icecreams.  Icecream is part of American dietry system. To some extent it is a must to them. Children from their young age are given icecream. It is considered as a catalyst for fast growing up. They develop stronger bones. Thus American in general are considerably tall and bigger in size. Compared to Malaysians their size is huge. Could be considered enormous.  

One day my fourth daughter was having a fever. I took her to a doctor. The doctor confirmed that she had a temperature. But his comment made me wondered. For one, he said my daughter is too small for her age. “Do you give her icesream?” he asked. “I do.” Was my answer. Of course to a typical American, he would not understand the size of other races. He was simply surprised that my daughter was so small. Of course relatively too small compared to American of the sama age. His first diagnose was icecream. “Give her more icecream.”

The second disgnose was even bewildering. The doctor never prescribed any medicine. A normal practice in Malaysia. Instead, “Give her coke.” At first I could not believe my ears. Yes! Confirmed. I had to buy coke. Coca cola. The wonders of coca cola. The great coca cola. The consultation fee the doctor charged could be USD25. That was minimum. No medicine. USD25 for seeing him. Fee for him to suggest icecream and coca cola. Well that’s life in US. Icecream is part and parcel of American life.

I had this interesting experience in Toronto, Canada. Way back in 1990. One day I was in town with a friend. We were sort of passing our time. My friend suggested we eat icecream. I agreed. The icecream guy asked him, “One or two?” Without thinking he showed his two fingers, “Two.” Very confident indeed. The guy made two scoops. Want to know the size? Make a guess. Each scoop was as big as a bit more than a tennis ball. My friend had a really hard time handling them. Not only his mouth was full of icecream,  His  nose was touching the icecream everytime his mouth touchded the icecream. His moustache and his beard was also full of icecream. Lucky for me. I was the second to made my order. After seeing the big scoop, I told the guy to give me one scoop only. One scoop was manageable. I enjoyed my icecream. At the same time I could not contain myself from laughing at the misery suffered by my friend. What an icecream. To Americans it is an everyday pleasure.

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