For the LOVE of Ravioli and Diet Coke…

Foreign Service Life
June 19, 2009


The shopping is done.  FINALLY.  I feel complete now with my Ravioli and Diet Coke rations.  Nick and I comprised on the final numbers and here’s what I ended up bringing:

  • 20 – 12 packs of coke for a total of  240 cans over 730 days (roughly 1 every 3 days).  I currently drink 2 per day, so this will be a substantial reduction!
  • 16  – 8 packs of Ravioli for a total of 128 cans over 730 days (roughly 1 per week).  I currently have 1-2 per week, so that shouldn’t end up being too tough on me.

Getting these coveted items ended up being quite a trial.  As I mentioned before, Costco didn’t have them so we ended up getting them at a regular grocery store.  Everyone kept staring at our cart and the check-out guy couldn’t stop laughing.  And then we couldn’t find a cart to haul them up last night, so I tried again by myself this morning.  I got the entire stack loaded on a bell-hop cart, but the darn thing wouldn’t move.

Five people had already passed me and made a comment like one of these variations:

  1. Having a party?
  2. You might want to work on your diet.
  3. I hope that’s not all for you!

To which I replied:

  1. I wish!
  2. Mind your own business.
  3. Yes it is and I refuse to share.  I feel immense gratitude for the gifts of Diet Coke and Ravioli today and despite however much passersby want to judge, I WILL NOT feel bad about myself.  I realized that if I could only take 3 things with me to Manila, it would be Diet Coke, Chef Boyardee Ravioli and Heinz Ketchup.  What 3 food items would you take if you knew there was no other way to get them for 2 years?

BACK TO THE STORY…. I got distracted.  And I so I pushed.  I pulled.  It was clear that the cart was not going to move for me.  Then my angel showed up…. a wonderful diplomatic security guy (who must have felt sorry for me)!  Not only did he push the cart all the way up to my apartment, but helped me unload it as well.  And all I had to withstand was a little commentary (see 1, 2 and 3 above to get a sense of what our conversation looked like).  I will forever be grateful to this kind stranger!  (And yes Nick, I promise that when we get to Manila I will work on not talking to strangers.  I know I make it more difficult for you to keep me safe but I am from Minnesota after all and it’s a hard habit to break!)

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  1. Sara says:

    1. Whole Wheat Angel Hair Pasta
    2. Red Spaghetti Sauce
    3. Ground Serloin

    I bet you can’t guess what my favorite meal is ;)

  2. Sue Ann says:

    If you ever get a craving for Twizzlers or Hot Tamales, be sure to bring some with because I’ve never found them in Manila. Once I’m back in the States, I always spend my first USD on Twizzlers and eat them on my way home from the airport. Hot Tamales are fun to share with Filipinos, mostly because they find both the texture and the flavor completely unfamiliar.

    I have also wished for a few Ortega Taco Seasoning Mix Packets for when I’m craving ‘Mexican’ food.

    And please make it a point to talk to a stranger everyday in Manila. Trust your instincts and forget (most) everything they tell you about the Philippines being a dangerous place. I have traveled all over the country, alone or with female friends, and have NEVER felt uncomfortable. Filipinos are incredibly hospitable, friendly and kind; your ‘Minnesota Nice’ will fit right in.

  3. Yvonne says:

    Oh Sarah!

    I have always loved reading your blog but this one made me laugh so hard! Enjoy those Diet Cokes girl cuz I am not sure if they sell them in Lima…I remember there only being Coke Zero or regular Coke! You are a real trooper my friend and I wish you a safe journey to the next adventure! Hugs n Love!

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