Every time I call home, my parents ask me if I am eating well. They know well enough that Caltech has plenty of options and that my room is stashed with snacks, but they ask anyways. This is an “Asian-parent” thing since when they grew up, they were exposed to famines and other types of scarcity. Therefore, eating well becomes a priority they instill in their kids.
Growing up around this kind of food culture made my taste buds become rivals with my wallet. My parents don’t even need to ask why I always have so little savings. They know that every paycheck I get will translate into a meal at one of my bucketlist restaurants. Even though I love fancy foods, I often miss my mom’s own cooking. At home, authentic Chinese food was on the menu 6/7 nights a week. Here at school, it’s like 0/7.
When I crave Chinese foods, I go down to the Valley. This time I went to E&J Yummy Kitchen for Cantonese food. I would say that Cantonese food is the most “Americanized” of all Chinese foods. Since a very American friend of mine tagged along, we decided Cantonese would be the most enjoyable for him. We ordered rice rolls with egg and shrimp, beef stew noodles with bbq pork, beef tripe noodles and wontons. The portions were hefty, and split three ways, the damage came down to roughly $8/person.
Even though $8 isn’t much, it’s not sustainable to tack it onto my daily food bill. I’ll continue to go on food adventures on the weekends, but I’ll try my best to save my appetite for winter break, when my parents will foot the bill for our family meals.