My “ugly” American story starts from spices and ends in spices. I am afraid I have a Selective Eating Disorder (SED) which is the inability to eat certain foods based on texture or aroma and never before my arrival to US, had I discovered that I suffer from an unusual eating sensitivity. My every lunch in Washington ended in three simple steps, picking up the food, staring at the plate and trashing up the food.
As a picky eater I had faced many problems. The fun of not having a single lunch for whole of the orientation weeks in Washington, just because they it was not spicy overshadows all my previous fun facts. I can’t forget Tomoko, Francis and sometimes Moeko wandering in the streets of Washington searching something spicy for me but every time they failed and at-last; we had to go to Harrie’s Bar to take some French fries and ginger ale, my only luxurious dinner in Washington.
Pork is an important component of most of the American foods and to save myself from the pork, forbidden in Islam, I used to try vegetarian foods but I don’t remember a single lunch in which I have not trashed the whole of my food after picking a piece of it in my mouth.
One Sunday, out for lunch in search of something spicy, I was in line behind a Caucasian customer who was asked by the middle eastern fellow behind the counter, “spicy?” while holding up a generous amount of red chilli paste to apply to the lavash, and I was happy that there are other people in the city who have same terrible times like me.
We went to a Sushi place in China Town and there was nothing which I could eat. After arguing with the server they brought the chef out who agreed to make me a burger. I was a little worried about that burger, after that fight but it was good and I had a good dinner that night.
I came across a Jamaican roommate and I was surprised to see lots of spices below her bed. ‘I like spicy foods, rare in the US and therefire I prepare my own food’, she said. She generously offered me a meal, which I was already waiting for. The dinner was served and I couldn’t eat, not because that it was not spicy but because the menu was pork, shell fish and lobsters. Some were forbidden and some were irritating for me. I took a glass of soda, thanked her and went to my bed without having anything.
But now in Maryland, I have my own kitchen, in a beautiful house at the bank of a river in a lush green area, I cook for myself and I am enjoying my foods, and my time.

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