Opposites Attract

Netflix, London and not a taco in sight

By Hilary Berg

Once again, as I write this letter, I’m doing so directly behind my fourth-grader, crouched over his desk, working hard on math, reading and geography. To help ease the distraction, I listen to music through my headphones or, sometimes, I listen to a TV show I’ve seen before, peeking at my phone screen every now and again.

Today, “The Great British Baking Show” is doing the trick. Today is also quite chilly, which makes sense for my choice of white noise.

Let me explain.

Without fail, I tend to daydream of the opposite season I’m currently in. The baking show is filmed during spring or summer. I deduce this because of the leafy trees, lush grass, pretty flowers and blue skies surrounding the tent, not to mention the contestants a bit “cheesed off” by the hot weather during chocolate week.

Of course, I watch the show for the friendly competition and sweets, but the sunny atmosphere is warming me on this cool fall day.

In contrast, during the dog days of summer — you guessed it — I’m scouring Netflix for titles promising falling leaves or snowy scenes.

This need to escape my current circumstances is obviously something to explore with my therapist, but at its core, I think it’s human nature to want what you can’t have.

I experienced this conundrum while on a vacation in London. The moment the plane landed, I was on the hunt for a taco. We found practically every other kind of cuisine, but zero Mexican. Call me a naive American, but I was shocked at the dearth, not because I assumed the U.K. would mirror the U.S., but because the locals were really missing out.

Googling “taco and London,” I now notice a few options, but clearly nowhere near the volume in the States. I’m sure Brits feel the same way about curry’s spottiness here.

Was it a bout of homesickness or my tendency to want what I can’t have? Summer in winter. Winter in summer. A vacation when at home. Home while on vacation — and on and on.

Regardless, I’ve never taken tacos for granted again, and my appreciation for Mexican culture only grew after the trip.

No matter who’s in the White House, I am proud to be an American, and that includes ALL the adopted treasures from south of the border.

And now, I’m craving tacos for lunch. They will definitely spice up this cloudy, cool day. And, I know just the place.

¡Salud! Let’s eat!


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