Tag Archives: cultural differences

Travelling With Steamed Pudding

My son made a brown Betty, a type of steamed pudding, for dinner before I left Australia for England.

These desserts were a staple of my childhood. They make one feel comfortable and comforted; the trials of life are, however briefly, soothed by the warmth and calm of such food. There is no ‘trying’ in the presence of a steamed pudding.

They bake in a covered bowl on a rack in a pot of boiling water. When the pot lid is removed, steam issues forth. When the cover of the pudding bowl is removed, steam rises. When the pudding is cut and laid in slices on a plate, steam wafts. This brown Betty of my son’s seemed to have soaked up some of the moisture. Rather than sitting pertly in fluffy slices, it slumped on the plate, moist and done in.

steamed pudding

That’s how I felt when I exited the terminal at Singapore. I was the brown Betty in the steam of Singapore. Continue reading

The Sound of Many Hands Not Clapping

Setting: University of Zurich lecture room.                                                           Cast: the speaker – a professor from America, the hosting professor and the            members of his lab, some hanger-onnerers, The BB, me.                                   Situation: The speaker has just concluded a talk about the cognition of arithmetic.

Suddenly a rumbling begins. It grows louder. It’s coming from inside the room. Alarmed, I look around. The members of the audience are banging their knuckles on their desks. Oh dear! I had thought his talk very interesting but these people are hounding him. Continue reading