I can’t eat American food

To be honest, I can’t eat American food. Every meal I’ve ever eaten at home has been Chinese, and my exposure to American food has been generally limited to the atrocities that are school lunches and the occasional non-Chinese restaurant experience. Cheeseburgers and hot dogs I can stomach, but I can’t stand other foods such as corn dogs or tacos (which are about as Mexican as sesame chicken and eggrolls are Chinese). But instead of writing about how the food base in Chinese food is better (shrimp with their heads and shells intact and whole fish with bones) or about about how food preparation in Chinese food is healthier (steaming and stir frying beat deep-fat frying any day), I’ll let a few facts speak for themselves. I went to two camps last summer. The first was a highly selective physics camp in Washington D.C. By day, we were at UMD College Park and by night, we were at a Holiday Inn. Breakfast was the hotel’s continental fare, lunch was catered food at UMD (a lot of salads and sandwiches), and dinner was prepared by the hotel’s restaurant. I didn’t like the food much and didn’t eat half the time, losing 10 pounds over 10 days and becoming unable to stomach any more sandwiches. Unfortunately I had to resume eating sandwiches in a mere two weeks, because the only food I could stand at the other camp came from Subway, Dunkin Donuts, and Shikansen (Japanese food). (The second camp, RSI, was a research camp hosted at MIT, and we ate all meals at MIT’s Student Center.) I ate six weeks of cream cheese bagels, sandwiches, greasy American-ized noodles, sushi, and bubble tea. However I managed a net gain of about eight pounds because I also bought random junk food from a campus grocery store and started pigging out on cookies, chips, and pop when stress from final paper-writing and presentations started kicking in at the end of RSI. It actually wasn’t as bad at RSI, because even though MIT had no Chinese restaurants (rather shocking given MIT’s student body is 25% Asian), we had a lot of dinner trips, at least one of which per week went to Boston’s Chinatown and on which I pounced. Seriously, RSI started on a Sunday, and by Tuesday, I couldn’t wait for Friday’s dinner trip to Chinatown. Anyone want to bet whether I’ll gain or lose the proverbial freshman 15 next year?