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Eau du Thief

July 31, 2017 in Uncategorized

Don’t quote me on this because I have no idea what the hell I’m talking about, but there was this study somewhere, at some time, done by some psychologists. Basically, these psychologists set up two rooms – Candy Shop A, and Candy Shop B. Both Candy Shop A and Candy Shop B were virtually identical; both were loaded with lots of tasty-looking sweets, and neither had a clerk at the till. There was one difference between the two candy shops, however; Candy Shop B had a large mirror behind the empty till, and on the mirror there were two large, angry eyes.

The subjects were let loose, allowed to roam freely between Candy Shop A and Candy Shop B. Kids in a candy store! And the psychologists were able to confirm their hypothesis: subjects happily pocketed candy in Candy Shop A, but kept their hands to themselves in Candy Shop B. While they were technically free to steal candy in both shops, the mere suggestion of a disapproving conscience was enough to reign in any impulses to commit the crime of theft.

This is a little bit what living in Italy is like.

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Un-Turkey Day

November 27, 2009 in dublin, Ex-Patriate Games

Thanksgiving in Japan, 2008: 

The equipment: Two gas burners, one toaster oven, one microwave, no kitchen counter.

The menu: Pan-roasted chicken, Maggie’s World Famous stuffing, mashed potatoes, canned corn, green bean casserole, gravy, dried cranberries, Mon Frere red wine. The Veuve Cliquot Champagne was a congratulatory gift from Nakata-san after Obama was elected. 

Thanksgiving in Ireland: 

The equipment: Four gas burners, an oven, and a microwave.

The menu: A roast chicken, green bean casserole with homemade French-fried onions, Maggie’s World Famous stuffing, gravy, homemade Irish cheddar-and-parmesan macaroni and cheese, red wine, After Eights. Not pictured: mashed potatoes and homemade apple crumble. 

Two countries, two dinners. The constants: stuffing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes and chicken. No turkey in Japan. No turkey in Ireland before Christmas. No Thanksgiving, of course, in either Japan or Ireland. The gloating Turkey-filled facebook status updates come fast and furious and I feel lonely, left out. But the bright side? I have my pick of anything I want in the supermarket at 4 pm on the day of. And the T-day food? The food is delicious anywhere you eat it. 

Besides – when you’re young, healthy, loved, and a Master’s student in the course of your dreams, every day is Thanksgiving.