Jul 27, 2017

second to last day working in Germany

Today was my second to last day at the office.

I walked to the village grocery store and bought the following items:

  • Bag of washed salad leaves, which I astounded Magda by eating entirely, out of the bag, with chopsticks, in the office kitchen
  • Gummi bears, because gummy bears in the US, like so many other things, are inferior to German ones. 
  • A mini-can of Fanta
  • Cilantro
  • Bottle of local wine from the winery next door, to be presented as a gift to my former boss, because it's something I never really resolved, or didn't really resolve in the way I want it to be closed. He was hurt that I left on such short notice, and hurt that I didn't give him a chance to address the reasons I left. And they did a lot for Saori and I. More than a bottle of wine will resolve, but I want to say goodbye and thank you anyway.
Tonight I had a mild panic attack at the train station. Intellectually, I'm prepared, and I know I'll be ok if I follow my list, question my assumptions, and ask for help when I need it, but something about standing in front of my last day at the office got me breathing hard with a pounding pulse. I think it means I need to take a day or two this weekend to balance out what's going on in the various parts of my mind that don't talk to each other as much as they should. 

When I got home, I had a beer, and started working on salsa. Saori's last day is tomorrow too, and although I'm bringing in Zucchini bread to my office, Saori is having a party at hers, and I volunteered to make a variety of salsas from "mild" to "Mayan sacrifice". 

I have to say there is something delightful about making salsa. There is the satisfying feel of a sharp blade slicing through taut tomato skin, the sharpness of fresh onions, the intriguing and dangerous small when you slice open a habanero chile. The deep oceanic green of the jalapeno, the bright sunshine green of the cilantro. Balancing the flavors, salt, sweet, spicy, sour. Tasting the salsa deepen and meld together after an hour, and after six. Finishing an entire goddamm bag of tortilla chips and realizing you've also eaten half of the salsa you just made. 

I use a simple recipe from Rick Bayless, who compiled it from Mexican cooks, and honestly I'm never going back to store bought salsa again. Salt, tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, garlic, lime juice, cilantro, and ground cumin. Saori will eat it directly by the spoonfull, no chips required.

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