A Little Food Goes a Long Way

A little stew I made.

June 3, 2019

Hello reader! It has been over a month since my last blog post, and there’s no good reason for the dearth of writing this website has experienced during that time. Believe me, I do think about writing my next blog post quite often, but even more often, procrastination and distractions get around to me first. What’s happened to me in that month? Well, depending on your perspective, a whole lot, or not that much.

The University of Waterloo offers a co-op program as part of some degrees, including my own Software Engineering one. I’ll spend four months of every eight months for the rest of my undergraduate degree working at an internship, likely in the field of software. That means no summers off (unless I decide to skip one co-op term), and only two to three weeks between terms.

For the next four (well, three and a bit) months, I’ll be in Guelph, working as an Android developer. I’m staying on the University of Guelph residence, following my excellent experience in the University of Waterloo residences. I’m glad for the fact that I have roommates in residence; it really makes a difference when it comes to combatting loneliness and settling in to a new city.

Onto what I’d like to talk about for this blog: food when one starts living by themselves. It’s quite a different situation compared to living with family. For the first week or so, I ate at restaurants almost all the time. Nowadays, I’ve started cooking about half my meals, and continuing to eat out for the rest. I’m hoping to shift that balance a good bit further.

One thing that I really noticed in the first few days that I was here, before my roommates moved in, was how not having food on hand felt quite disheartening. I remember one evening in particular: It was the second evening of my stay in Guelph, and there was no one about to talk to. I was alone in a rather large townhouse, two kilometers’ walk from the nearest place I could find a hot meal, and without so much as a banana in the house.

At that time, the whole world felt cold and disheartening, and it seemed like the evening would stretch on for a very long time. In the end, I decided to make the long walk down to a plaza off campus. Most of the stores and restaurants were closed, but I found a burrito place that was still open, and bought and ate a burrito from the lone person running the shop.

It’s difficult to describe the impact that a warm meal and the chance to talk to someone, even briefly, had on me. I ended up walking home fairly happy that night, and saved some leftovers for the next morning. I suppose that sense of food security improved my mood too, knowing that I would have something to eat the next day.

That’s about it, I guess. I was lonely and hungry, and went out to buy some warm food, and was happy again. I’m glad I had that option. Not everyone does.

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