Saturday, July 07, 2007

To be or not to be?

As I lie in bed, covered by a mini-mosquito net, I am thinking about, of all things, protein. I have been living mainly as a vegetarian for the past 6 weeks or so, and I have been really enjoying it. I thought I would be able to continue here in Kenya. The trip here was easy...Virgin Atlantic offers vegetarian meals. Since our arrival, things haven't been as easy. The food here at the hostel is great (and included in the price of the room) but I haven't been able to get any protein without eating the meat (which I haven't done yet). There aren't any beans, or anything with sufficient protein, with the exception of eggs that we had once for breakfast. I'm starting to feel it...the feeling I had in Timor during training...the need for protein. I'm not an experienced vegetarian that I know all the alternate options for protein. And you can only eat so many peanuts.

So tonight we went out to eat at a place that Jenn said would have American food. During the taxi ride there, I told the others that I might get some meat to eat, but I hadn't convinced myself completely. I realized I wasn't yet ready to give up vegetarianism when I saw "veggie burger" on the menu. Next to it, it said "single: or "double". Thinking it would be a soy-based burger (I'm learning that I need to let go of my American pre-conceptions) I ordered the double. I don't think I've ever eaten a double burger of any kind in my life, but I thought this would be so much protein that I'd be set for at least a few days. I ordered the double with chips. I I'm thinking Boca burger, quarter-inch thin, two patties would be perfect. When it came out, I was astounded to see about two inches of...something...between the buns. And a plate FULL of chips. This was no Boca burger.

What was it, you ask? These Kenyans are smart, literal people, unlike Americans who call a frozen patty a veggie burger when it has no visible sign of vegetable content. These were actually potato-based, deep-fried patties with assorted veggies inside. A true VEGGIE burger. So basically I ate fried potato patties on bread with fried potatoes on the side. And a mean cup of Kenyan coffee. It was tasty, no doubt, and I couldn't finish it all. But as for the protein? Not much, I'm afraid.

So I lie here with a belly full of carbs wondering, to be or not to be a vegetarian in Kenya? Is it even possible?

Bek Abroad.


Blogger T said...

Wonderful, wonderful stuff! The writing, I love it! As for the veggie-onus, that is a quandary. I say eat the meat. See how it feels.

8:20 AM  

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