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Archive for April 25th, 2010

  • Day 57: Temptation Inside B Class Departure Lounge

    Date: 2010.04.25 | Category: Uncategorized | Response: 0

    There’s a troublemaker back at HQ who knows my weak spots. He clearly wired ahead and made enemy operatives fill up the business class lounge in Munich with miniature After Eights.

    The miniature After Eights weren’t enough.  He had to place this container below right next to them which contained some Haribo, a German chewy candy that is among my favorites.

    Now this is war.

    Fortunately, I was distracted by a woman in black chador, her eyes barely visible through slits who poked me in the arm while I was reviewing the packaging on the After Eights.

    “Tea?” she bellowed.

    I am always fascinated with women in chadors, especially if they’re Saudis since I’m obsessed with Saudi Arabia and am even now reading Robert Lacey’s Inside the Kingdom.

    I pointed her to the tea area and she yelled “black!”  She probably can’t read the European alphabet because if she’s Saudi, their education for girls sucks.

    She went back to her table with another woman-in-black and the two of them started trying to sip their tea through a fold near their chin.

    FYI, I enjoyed the apples, peanuts and wasabi mix!

    T minus one hour until


  • Day 57: Guten Morgen! A Year Without Candy Road Trip

    Date: 2010.04.25 | Category: Uncategorized | Response: 0

    I travel a lot and 95 percent of the time I’m able to arrange at least a mid-morning flight. Not always. This morning, the alarm went off at an undignified 5 a.m. for a 6:40 a.m. flight.  But my (long) layover in Munich has one upside: a Starbucks (true it’s a giant pain to get to because it’s outside the gates but after months of weak French coffee and mostly green tea every morning the hike out there is worth it.)

    My first challenge came aboard Lufthansa – not long after we soared above the shimmering blue seas of the Mediterranean, took a left turn at Italy and and began our ascent over Thomas Mann’s magic mountains, the Alps.

    After some delicious German brown bread, cheese and butter for breakfast, the flight attendant walked over to my seat holding a basket of generous-sized German chocolates.

    “You would like?” she said.

    Yes, I would like.  But nein danke.

    Sigh.  It’s going to be a long week. I’m headed to Singapore on official business. I’m a journalist, or so that’s the cover Langley’s given me.

    Road trips have traditionally been a tough time for me to eat well.  At home I like good food but junk is always a temptation on the road. I like a stash of Junior Mints, or M & Ms or Raisinets on a flight. Also, a bag of salt and vinegar kettle chips packed in with a huge bottle of water can hit the spot.

    In between destinations, at a world-class airport like Munich, a nice pastry or two makes the time go by just a little faster.

    If you know France at all, you can tell right away when you’ve left because you’re assaulted by huge amounts of sweets in the next country you visit. France, for all its vaunted patisseries, just doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth. And you’d never see pastries stuffed to overflowing like these on the left in Munich.

    But I’m kind if relieved to be on my first mission assignment since beginning my Year Without Candy on Feb. 28, 2010.

    At least, I’m telling myself, the choice has been removed.   I can’t have any sweets so at least the negotiating in my head for how many I can have and the subsequent guilt and remorse I experience when I eat too many – won’t even be a factor on this trip.

    I hope!

    Hmmm, those German chocolate bars do look robust. Just like the people. Always such a shock to leave France and no longer be one of the tallest people around. The large hands of German women so fascinate me.  Some of them are almost paw-like. All the better to tear into those big tablets of chocolate.

    See you in Singapore…


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This American candy addict/journalist in France writes about quitting candy – and all desserts – for at least one year beginning Feb. 28, 2010. Follow my progress – or relapses – as I delete candy corn, moelleux au chocolat, peppermint patties, Carambars, tarte tatin, After Eights, crème brûlée, Nutella, tapioca pudding, mint chocolate chip ice cream, Haribo Polkas, M & Ms and more from my life. Learn about the evils of white sugar and its effects on mood and health from my interviews with experts and friends! Let the sugar fog lift!

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