Monthly Archives: July 2015

66 - Heinz Beans or Cot Citron - Vocabulary

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Reunion Island and Mauritius both share a similar 17th and 18th century history of colonisation, slavery, and pirates, but today the two societies are very different indeed. Reunion is French-speaking, a part of Europe and a place where if you are underprivileged, or can’t find work, you won’t be left to die in abject poverty. Which is nice. You won’t be able to speak English very well, but you can’t have your cake and eat it, can you? As for Mauritius, the island is totally independent, offers very little help for the poor or unemployed and, according to the statistics, there are as many Mauritians living in poverty as there are RMIstes in Reunion. But if you’re a rich golfer, you will love it there... So the big question is: what happened? Where did it all go wrong? Or right, depending on the island you’re on.

Well, back in 1810 there was a key moment which changed the two island’s destinies. Following the French Revolution, the nasty old English thought they would attack the unprotected French colonies and steal all their goodies. They decided to attack Reunion, then known as Isle Bourbon, and on July 8th the French signed their surrender at La Redoute - that’s the stadium in St Denis, not the online fashion catalogue.

The island remained under English control until 1814, when Napoleon was defeated and a treaty was signed bringing France’s borders back to what they had been in 1792 - their colonies were returned, including Reunion Island, but there were three exceptions which were given to the English instead: Saint Lucia, Tobago and Mauritius. But the question is why? Why did the English prefer to keep Mauritius and not insist on keeping Reunion as well?

There are two big theories: one suggests that the Reunionese population, made up of ferociously belligerent warrior slaves from Madagascar, were simply too difficult to manage. Many slaves at that time thought they would be enfranchised by the English - apparently slavery was no longer their cup of tea by then - so the Reunionese did their best to rise up against their French slave-owners, resulting in the famous rebellion of St Leu in 1811. Several slaves were sentenced to death for their part in this. Strangely enough, their trial took place in the cathedral of St Denis, which was struck by lightning, killing the magistrate’s wife. Divine intervention? Maybe. Anyway, that’s one theory. The other theory is that the English soldiers just couldn’t stand the local food. French cuisine? Awful! No Baked Beans? No steak and kidney pie? No Christmas pudding? ‘We cannot stay here!’ they cried. And so, they went off to Mauritius instead. And the rest, as they say, is history.

And what of the English people still here in Reunion? Why have we not left? First of all, it’s important to point out that you can now buy Baked Beans in LeClerc Le Portail, so that’s one BIG problem solved. If you ask me why I’m still here, I could say it’s because of the amazing people, stunning scenery and sublime climate. But to be honest, it’s all about the food and drink, and this one simple truth: I couldn’t live anywhere without COT Citron.

 

Vocabulary:

to share = partager
have your cake and eat it = avoir le beurre et l’argent du beurre
unemployed = chomeur
nasty = méchant
goodies = sucreries, bonbons

to keep = garder
to manage = gérer
enfranchised = affranchi, libéré, delivré
their cup of tea = leur tasse de thé
to rise up = se révolter

lightning = foudre
to stand = supporter
left = parti

00:0000:00

66 - Heinz Beans or Cot Citron - Slow

Visit www.anglais.re for more !

Reunion Island and Mauritius both share a similar 17th and 18th century history of colonisation, slavery, and pirates, but today the two societies are very different indeed. Reunion is French-speaking, a part of Europe and a place where if you are underprivileged, or can’t find work, you won’t be left to die in abject poverty. Which is nice. You won’t be able to speak English very well, but you can’t have your cake and eat it, can you? As for Mauritius, the island is totally independent, offers very little help for the poor or unemployed and, according to the statistics, there are as many Mauritians living in poverty as there are RMIstes in Reunion. But if you’re a rich golfer, you will love it there... So the big question is: what happened? Where did it all go wrong? Or right, depending on the island you’re on.

Well, back in 1810 there was a key moment which changed the two island’s destinies. Following the French Revolution, the nasty old English thought they would attack the unprotected French colonies and steal all their goodies. They decided to attack Reunion, then known as Isle Bourbon, and on July 8th the French signed their surrender at La Redoute - that’s the stadium in St Denis, not the online fashion catalogue.

The island remained under English control until 1814, when Napoleon was defeated and a treaty was signed bringing France’s borders back to what they had been in 1792 - their colonies were returned, including Reunion Island, but there were three exceptions which were given to the English instead: Saint Lucia, Tobago and Mauritius. But the question is why? Why did the English prefer to keep Mauritius and not insist on keeping Reunion as well?

There are two big theories: one suggests that the Reunionese population, made up of ferociously belligerent warrior slaves from Madagascar, were simply too difficult to manage. Many slaves at that time thought they would be enfranchised by the English - apparently slavery was no longer their cup of tea by then - so the Reunionese did their best to rise up against their French slave-owners, resulting in the famous rebellion of St Leu in 1811. Several slaves were sentenced to death for their part in this. Strangely enough, their trial took place in the cathedral of St Denis, which was struck by lightning, killing the magistrate’s wife. Divine intervention? Maybe. Anyway, that’s one theory. The other theory is that the English soldiers just couldn’t stand the local food. French cuisine? Awful! No Baked Beans? No steak and kidney pie? No Christmas pudding? ‘We cannot stay here!’ they cried. And so, they went off to Mauritius instead. And the rest, as they say, is history.

And what of the English people still here in Reunion? Why have we not left? First of all, it’s important to point out that you can now buy Baked Beans in LeClerc Le Portail, so that’s one BIG problem solved. If you ask me why I’m still here, I could say it’s because of the amazing people, stunning scenery and sublime climate. But to be honest, it’s all about the food and drink, and this one simple truth: I couldn’t live anywhere without COT Citron.

 

Vocabulary:

to share = partager
have your cake and eat it = avoir le beurre et l’argent du beurre
unemployed = chomeur
nasty = méchant
goodies = sucreries, bonbons

to keep = garder
to manage = gérer
enfranchised = affranchi, libéré, delivré
their cup of tea = leur tasse de thé
to rise up = se révolter

lightning = foudre
to stand = supporter
left = parti

00:0000:00

66 - Heinz Beans or Cot Citron?

Visit www.anglais.re for more !

Reunion Island and Mauritius both share a similar 17th and 18th century history of colonisation, slavery, and pirates, but today the two societies are very different indeed. Reunion is French-speaking, a part of Europe and a place where if you are underprivileged, or can’t find work, you won’t be left to die in abject poverty. Which is nice. You won’t be able to speak English very well, but you can’t have your cake and eat it, can you? As for Mauritius, the island is totally independent, offers very little help for the poor or unemployed and, according to the statistics, there are as many Mauritians living in poverty as there are RMIstes in Reunion. But if you’re a rich golfer, you will love it there... So the big question is: what happened? Where did it all go wrong? Or right, depending on the island you’re on.

Well, back in 1810 there was a key moment which changed the two island’s destinies. Following the French Revolution, the nasty old English thought they would attack the unprotected French colonies and steal all their goodies. They decided to attack Reunion, then known as Isle Bourbon, and on July 8th the French signed their surrender at La Redoute - that’s the stadium in St Denis, not the online fashion catalogue.

The island remained under English control until 1814, when Napoleon was defeated and a treaty was signed bringing France’s borders back to what they had been in 1792 - their colonies were returned, including Reunion Island, but there were three exceptions which were given to the English instead: Saint Lucia, Tobago and Mauritius. But the question is why? Why did the English prefer to keep Mauritius and not insist on keeping Reunion as well?

There are two big theories: one suggests that the Reunionese population, made up of ferociously belligerent warrior slaves from Madagascar, were simply too difficult to manage. Many slaves at that time thought they would be enfranchised by the English - apparently slavery was no longer their cup of tea by then - so the Reunionese did their best to rise up against their French slave-owners, resulting in the famous rebellion of St Leu in 1811. Several slaves were sentenced to death for their part in this. Strangely enough, their trial took place in the cathedral of St Denis, which was struck by lightning, killing the magistrate’s wife. Divine intervention? Maybe. Anyway, that’s one theory. The other theory is that the English soldiers just couldn’t stand the local food. French cuisine? Awful! No Baked Beans? No steak and kidney pie? No Christmas pudding? ‘We cannot stay here!’ they cried. And so, they went off to Mauritius instead. And the rest, as they say, is history.

And what of the English people still here in Reunion? Why have we not left? First of all, it’s important to point out that you can now buy Baked Beans in LeClerc Le Portail, so that’s one BIG problem solved. If you ask me why I’m still here, I could say it’s because of the amazing people, stunning scenery and sublime climate. But to be honest, it’s all about the food and drink, and this one simple truth: I couldn’t live anywhere without COT Citron.

Vocabulary:

to share = partager
have your cake and eat it = avoir le beurre et l’argent du beurre
unemployed = chomeur
nasty = méchant
goodies = sucreries, bonbons

to keep = garder
to manage = gérer
enfranchised = affranchi, libéré, delivré
their cup of tea = leur tasse de thé
to rise up = se révolter

lightning = foudre
to stand = supporter
left = parti

00:0000:00

65 - Dance Therapy - Vocabulary

Visit www.anglais.re for more !

A little while ago when I was feeling homesick, I talked to you about not having as many opportunities for classes or activities on the island as I would back home in the US. This month, I had an experience that made realize that having 100 options is not the same as finding that one unique treasure...which has the same possibility of existing among the hundreds back at home than it does hidden away, nestled in the sand on a faraway place called Reunion Island.

This particular little treasure I'm talking about is a dance class called NIA in Boucan. Of course NIA exists (and maybe even originated??) in the US, but what really makes this class different is the teacher. Veronique exudes passion and energy in a way that could uplift even the saddest person in the world. 

This past weekend, Veronique was invited to give some dance courses during the Wellness Festival in Mauritius, and to prepare, she started taking English classes with me. For the past month, I entered her world of dance a few times a week. 

I'm definitely not a dancer, but as a theater student I had to have the ability to learn simple dance sequences in a short period of time. So while I can grasp easier rhythm and steps quickly, I am missing that natural grace, beauty and flow that I so admire in real dancers. All of that vanishes when you dance with Veronique. I don't know how it's possible, but when you dance with her, you really feel as elegant and free as she looks. Her energy is contagious and soon you aren't thinking about how silly you look, you're thinking about how great it feels to stretch your body in ways you haven't done since you were about 7. If I had to describe NIA to someone who hadn't seen it before, I would say it is a dancer's version of yoga, tai chi, and martial arts. Like swimming without water. Like meditation in movement. 

I ended up going to the Wellness Festival in Mauritius and it was one of the coolest experiences of my life! We arrived Friday night and set up our tents under the stars. Saturday morning we started around 8 and every hour or so you had two or three classes to choose from; things like yoga, pilates, tai chi, singing, meditation, and of course, dance. There were tents set up where you could buy homemade vegetarian food and healthy drinks and desserts. There were tents offering massages, healing crystals, spiritual books, and everything else you could dream of in the wellness world. After lunch we bathed in the nearby waterfall, and at night we had live concerts by yogis playing instruments I never knew existed! Every second was a new breath of life.

Not surprisingly, Veronique's dance classes were by far the most popular!! The first day, she guided about 60 people through a dance therapy class under the big tent. It was so powerful I get chills just thinking about it. I remember specifically this little stout old man dancing in the corner with this eyes closed, as if he had never moved his body so freely and was finally flying out of a cage that he had been in for maybe his whole life. 

On Sunday, Veronique's NIA class got a standing ovation, and people even asked her to move to Mauritius! It was truly a testament to her unique and beautiful gift.

If you're like me, and you're looking for a hobby here...something different, something worth your precious time and money, I think you should come meet Veronique and try out a NIA class. I think all of us could benefit a lot by learning to let go and dance.

Vocabulary

homesick - nostalgique
to uplift - élever les sentiments
to grasp - comprendre
steps - pas
to look silly - avoir l'air ridicule

to stretch - tendre
set up - installé
to let go - se lâcher

00:0000:00

65 - Dance Therapy - Slow

Visit www.anglais.re for more !

A little while ago when I was feeling homesick, I talked to you about not having as many opportunities for classes or activities on the island as I would back home in the US. This month, I had an experience that made realize that having 100 options is not the same as finding that one unique treasure...which has the same possibility of existing among the hundreds back at home than it does hidden away, nestled in the sand on a faraway place called Reunion Island.

This particular little treasure I'm talking about is a dance class called NIA in Boucan. Of course NIA exists (and maybe even originated??) in the US, but what really makes this class different is the teacher. Veronique exudes passion and energy in a way that could uplift even the saddest person in the world. 

This past weekend, Veronique was invited to give some dance courses during the Wellness Festival in Mauritius, and to prepare, she started taking English classes with me. For the past month, I entered her world of dance a few times a week. 

I'm definitely not a dancer, but as a theater student I had to have the ability to learn simple dance sequences in a short period of time. So while I can grasp easier rhythm and steps quickly, I am missing that natural grace, beauty and flow that I so admire in real dancers. All of that vanishes when you dance with Veronique. I don't know how it's possible, but when you dance with her, you really feel as elegant and free as she looks. Her energy is contagious and soon you aren't thinking about how silly you look, you're thinking about how great it feels to stretch your body in ways you haven't done since you were about 7. If I had to describe NIA to someone who hadn't seen it before, I would say it is a dancer's version of yoga, tai chi, and martial arts. Like swimming without water. Like meditation in movement. 

I ended up going to the Wellness Festival in Mauritius and it was one of the coolest experiences of my life! We arrived Friday night and set up our tents under the stars. Saturday morning we started around 8 and every hour or so you had two or three classes to choose from; things like yoga, pilates, tai chi, singing, meditation, and of course, dance. There were tents set up where you could buy homemade vegetarian food and healthy drinks and desserts. There were tents offering massages, healing crystals, spiritual books, and everything else you could dream of in the wellness world. After lunch we bathed in the nearby waterfall, and at night we had live concerts by yogis playing instruments I never knew existed! Every second was a new breath of life.

Not surprisingly, Veronique's dance classes were by far the most popular!! The first day, she guided about 60 people through a dance therapy class under the big tent. It was so powerful I get chills just thinking about it. I remember specifically this little stout old man dancing in the corner with this eyes closed, as if he had never moved his body so freely and was finally flying out of a cage that he had been in for maybe his whole life. 

On Sunday, Veronique's NIA class got a standing ovation, and people even asked her to move to Mauritius! It was truly a testament to her unique and beautiful gift.

If you're like me, and you're looking for a hobby here...something different, something worth your precious time and money, I think you should come meet Veronique and try out a NIA class. I think all of us could benefit a lot by learning to let go and dance.

Vocabulary

homesick - nostalgique
to uplift - élever les sentiments
to grasp - comprendre
steps - pas
to look silly - avoir l'air ridicule

to stretch - tendre
set up - installé
to let go - se lâcher

00:0000:00

65 - Dance Therapy

Visit www.anglais.re for more !

A little while ago when I was feeling homesick, I talked to you about not having as many opportunities for classes or activities on the island as I would back home in the US. This month, I had an experience that made realize that having 100 options is not the same as finding that one unique treasure...which has the same possibility of existing among the hundreds back at home than it does hidden away, nestled in the sand on a faraway place called Reunion Island.

This particular little treasure I'm talking about is a dance class called NIA in Boucan. Of course NIA exists (and maybe even originated??) in the US, but what really makes this class different is the teacher. Veronique exudes passion and energy in a way that could uplift even the saddest person in the world. 

This past weekend, Veronique was invited to give some dance courses during the Wellness Festival in Mauritius, and to prepare, she started taking English classes with me. For the past month, I entered her world of dance a few times a week. 

I'm definitely not a dancer, but as a theater student I had to have the ability to learn simple dance sequences in a short period of time. So while I can grasp easier rhythm and steps quickly, I am missing that natural grace, beauty and flow that I so admire in real dancers. All of that vanishes when you dance with Veronique. I don't know how it's possible, but when you dance with her, you really feel as elegant and free as she looks. Her energy is contagious and soon you aren't thinking about how silly you look, you're thinking about how great it feels to stretch your body in ways you haven't done since you were about 7. If I had to describe NIA to someone who hadn't seen it before, I would say it is a dancer's version of yoga, tai chi, and martial arts. Like swimming without water. Like meditation in movement. 

I ended up going to the Wellness Festival in Mauritius and it was one of the coolest experiences of my life! We arrived Friday night and set up our tents under the stars. Saturday morning we started around 8 and every hour or so you had two or three classes to choose from; things like yoga, pilates, tai chi, singing, meditation, and of course, dance. There were tents set up where you could buy homemade vegetarian food and healthy drinks and desserts. There were tents offering massages, healing crystals, spiritual books, and everything else you could dream of in the wellness world. After lunch we bathed in the nearby waterfall, and at night we had live concerts by yogis playing instruments I never knew existed! Every second was a new breath of life.

Not surprisingly, Veronique's dance classes were by far the most popular!! The first day, she guided about 60 people through a dance therapy class under the big tent. It was so powerful I get chills just thinking about it. I remember specifically this little stout old man dancing in the corner with this eyes closed, as if he had never moved his body so freely and was finally flying out of a cage that he had been in for maybe his whole life. 

On Sunday, Veronique's NIA class got a standing ovation, and people even asked her to move to Mauritius! It was truly a testament to her unique and beautiful gift.

If you're like me, and you're looking for a hobby here...something different, something worth your precious time and money, I think you should come meet Veronique and try out a NIA class. I think all of us could benefit a lot by learning to let go and dance.

Vocabulary

homesick - nostalgique
to uplift - élever les sentiments
to grasp - comprendre
steps - pas
to look silly - avoir l'air ridicule

to stretch - tendre
set up - installé
to let go - se lâcher

00:0000:00

64 - Being Vegetarian in Reunion - Vocabulary

Visit www.anglais.re for more !

I still remember coming home from school one day when I was about twelve, having learned from a friend that eating meat could be a choice and not necessarily an obligation.  I proudly announced to my mum and dad at the dinner table that night that I had become a vegetarian.  Instead of the shocked response that I had expected, I just remember my parents looking at each other before replying “Okay”.  They later told me that it came as no surprise and that they had been expecting that day to arrive.

Growing up it was always a battle getting me to eat the meat that was on my plate, I would find interesting ways to hide it or to spit it in the toilet on one of my many bathroom breaks during a meal.  I didn’t like the idea of eating something that had been living and was now dead and sitting on my plate. As I got older the reasons became more political, but it always remained an ethical choice above all.  I would rather see a fish swimming free, or a cow grazing in a field than on my dinner plate.  I began to research more into the treatment of the animals that were being used to feed us, and was horrified with my discoveries, and that’s not even mentioning the environmental problems that are created when we support industrial farming

Anyway, I am sure everyone has heard these arguments before, and we are all free to make our own decisions, I made mine nineteen years ago, and have never looked back.  Being a vegetarian in Canada was simple, it is a popular lifestyle choice and there are veggie options at pretty much every restaurant. It wasn’t until I started travelling that I began to discover the difficulties in being a vegetarian.  I spent a few years after university living and teaching in Japan, and although it was an amazing experience, it was not easy being a vegetarian.  First of all, every time I mentioned that I didn’t eat meat, I would be asked a million questions “do you eat fish? Do you eat chicken? Do you eat pork?” and the list went on.  But even after responding to all of these questions with a big “NO”, I would often be served a dish with fish flakes all over it, after all if the dish is 95% vegetarian that's good enough right? 

I will never forget the time that I discovered the “vegetarian tofu burger” at Starbucks in Japan, I was so excited to eat it, but the whole time I was eating it there was something about the taste that just wasn’t right.  After eating it a few times, I finally asked for the list of ingredients and sure enough it was 90% tofu and 10% pork... Great.  Needless to say, the easiest way not to have surprise meat in my dish was to stick to cooking for myself.

Now I am living in Reunion and although it is not nearly as difficult as Japan to be a vegetarian, I find myself faced with similar situations.  For example, the look of shock/disappointment when I announce to someone that I don’t eat meat, which is most commonly answered with the question “Then...what do you eat?".  Also eating at a restaurant I am often left with the side dishes as my only option, even finding a salad without meat can be a challenge.  However, I do think that things in Reunion are starting to change, and there are even a couple of restaurants that serve only vegetarian/vegan food! My hope is that all restaurants will start to modify their menus by adding at least two or three meat/fish/seafood free options, so that everyone, not just the vegetarians, can incorporate a meat-free meal every now and then into their lives.

Vocabulary

necessarily - nécessairement
proudly - fièrement
spit - cracher
grazing - pâturage
industrial farms - fermes industrielles


although - bien que
disappointment - déception
side dish - accompagnement
however - néanmoins

00:0000:00

64 - Being Vegetarian in Reunion - Slow

Visit www.anglais.re for more !

I still remember coming home from school one day when I was about twelve, having learned from a friend that eating meat could be a choice and not necessarily an obligation.  I proudly announced to my mum and dad at the dinner table that night that I had become a vegetarian.  Instead of the shocked response that I had expected, I just remember my parents looking at each other before replying “Okay”.  They later told me that it came as no surprise and that they had been expecting that day to arrive.

Growing up it was always a battle getting me to eat the meat that was on my plate, I would find interesting ways to hide it or to spit it in the toilet on one of my many bathroom breaks during a meal.  I didn’t like the idea of eating something that had been living and was now dead and sitting on my plate. As I got older the reasons became more political, but it always remained an ethical choice above all.  I would rather see a fish swimming free, or a cow grazing in a field than on my dinner plate.  I began to research more into the treatment of the animals that were being used to feed us, and was horrified with my discoveries, and that’s not even mentioning the environmental problems that are created when we support industrial farming

Anyway, I am sure everyone has heard these arguments before, and we are all free to make our own decisions, I made mine nineteen years ago, and have never looked back.  Being a vegetarian in Canada was simple, it is a popular lifestyle choice and there are veggie options at pretty much every restaurant. It wasn’t until I started travelling that I began to discover the difficulties in being a vegetarian.  I spent a few years after university living and teaching in Japan, and although it was an amazing experience, it was not easy being a vegetarian.  First of all, every time I mentioned that I didn’t eat meat, I would be asked a million questions “do you eat fish? Do you eat chicken? Do you eat pork?” and the list went on.  But even after responding to all of these questions with a big “NO”, I would often be served a dish with fish flakes all over it, after all if the dish is 95% vegetarian that's good enough right? 

I will never forget the time that I discovered the “vegetarian tofu burger” at Starbucks in Japan, I was so excited to eat it, but the whole time I was eating it there was something about the taste that just wasn’t right.  After eating it a few times, I finally asked for the list of ingredients and sure enough it was 90% tofu and 10% pork... Great.  Needless to say, the easiest way not to have surprise meat in my dish was to stick to cooking for myself.

Now I am living in Reunion and although it is not nearly as difficult as Japan to be a vegetarian, I find myself faced with similar situations.  For example, the look of shock/disappointment when I announce to someone that I don’t eat meat, which is most commonly answered with the question “Then...what do you eat?".  Also eating at a restaurant I am often left with the side dishes as my only option, even finding a salad without meat can be a challenge.  However, I do think that things in Reunion are starting to change, and there are even a couple of restaurants that serve only vegetarian/vegan food! My hope is that all restaurants will start to modify their menus by adding at least two or three meat/fish/seafood free options, so that everyone, not just the vegetarians, can incorporate a meat-free meal every now and then into their lives.

Vocabulary

necessarily - nécessairement
proudly - fièrement
spit - cracher
grazing - pâturage
industrial farms - fermes industrielles


although - bien que
disappointment - déception
side dish - accompagnement
however - néanmoins

00:0000:00

64 - Being Vegetarian in Reunion

Visit www.anglais.re for more !

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I still remember coming home from school one day when I was about twelve, having learned from a friend that eating meat could be a choice and not necessarily an obligation.  I proudly announced to my mum and dad at the dinner table that night that I had become a vegetarian.  Instead of the shocked response that I had expected, I just remember my parents looking at each other before replying “Okay”.  They later told me that it came as no surprise and that they had been expecting that day to arrive.

Growing up it was always a battle getting me to eat the meat that was on my plate, I would find interesting ways to hide it or to spit it in the toilet on one of my many bathroom breaks during a meal.  I didn’t like the idea of eating something that had been living and was now dead and sitting on my plate. As I got older the reasons became more political, but it always remained an ethical choice above all.  I would rather see a fish swimming free, or a cow grazing in a field than on my dinner plate.  I began to research more into the treatment of the animals that were being used to feed us, and was horrified with my discoveries, and that’s not even mentioning the environmental problems that are created when we support industrial farming

Anyway, I am sure everyone has heard these arguments before, and we are all free to make our own decisions, I made mine nineteen years ago, and have never looked back.  Being a vegetarian in Canada was simple, it is a popular lifestyle choice and there are veggie options at pretty much every restaurant. It wasn’t until I started travelling that I began to discover the difficulties in being a vegetarian.  I spent a few years after university living and teaching in Japan, and although it was an amazing experience, it was not easy being a vegetarian.  First of all, every time I mentioned that I didn’t eat meat, I would be asked a million questions “do you eat fish? Do you eat chicken? Do you eat pork?” and the list went on.  But even after responding to all of these questions with a big “NO”, I would often be served a dish with fish flakes all over it, after all if the dish is 95% vegetarian that's good enough right? 

I will never forget the time that I discovered the “vegetarian tofu burger” at Starbucks in Japan, I was so excited to eat it, but the whole time I was eating it there was something about the taste that just wasn’t right.  After eating it a few times, I finally asked for the list of ingredients and sure enough it was 90% tofu and 10% pork... Great.  Needless to say, the easiest way not to have surprise meat in my dish was to stick to cooking for myself.

Now I am living in Reunion and although it is not nearly as difficult as Japan to be a vegetarian, I find myself faced with similar situations.  For example, the look of shock/disappointment when I announce to someone that I don’t eat meat, which is most commonly answered with the question “Then...what do you eat?".  Also eating at a restaurant I am often left with the side dishes as my only option, even finding a salad without meat can be a challenge.  However, I do think that things in Reunion are starting to change, and there are even a couple of restaurants that serve only vegetarian/vegan food! My hope is that all restaurants will start to modify their menus by adding at least two or three meat/fish/seafood free options, so that everyone, not just the vegetarians, can incorporate a meat-free meal every now and then into their lives.

Vocabulary

necessarily - nécessairement
proudly - fièrement
spit - cracher
grazing - pâturage
industrial farms - fermes industrielles


although - bien que
disappointment - déception
side dish - accompagnement
however - néanmoins

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