The first floor had a nice study break last week in my GA's room. She's Italian, and went to Rome over winter break and brought back an absolutely gorgeous set of espresso cups and saucers. Unfortunately, my picture was blurry due to dim lighting, but you can see my espresso with a tiny spoon that has a bent handle (so that it can dangle off the rim of the cup). Fancy fancy.
She also brought back some Orzo, an Italian barley drink that is drunken hot and with cream/sugar/milk. So, of course I had to try it!! I think that one of the best experiences at Penn is meeting people from other cultures because they can tell me about their cuisine (and possibly feed me). I had it plain first, and then with some sugar. It doesn't taste like coffee or tea, and I keep thinking "hot sugar cane juice..." but I KNOW that's definitely not right. It tastes a little like burnt sugar (which I guess is due to the barley). Either way, it was quite delicious and I do want to buy oat or barley or rice drinks. On another note, I miss Horlicks (and Hong Kong in general), and I've been drinking black tea with dried rose pieces nearly daily.
Another great thing about Penn is that it's right next to Monell and lso, at Monell, I got a can of sparkling grape juice by The Switch (they have a really pleasing website with bubbly backgrounds, by the way). The marketing: "Drink this. It's tasty and healthier than soda and gives you nutrients."
Yet, who will chip out $1 for ~240 ml (roughly "one serving" of a beverage, according to the FDA) of this juice when soda is $1 for a litre? Also, sure, there may be a silo of vitamin C in a can of this drink, but a clementine will give you all the vitamin C... in fewer calories. I could go on about all the negatives... but I suppose the goal is this:
Exploitation of health misconceptions in the general population in order to earn money (with the facade of gearing towards making humanity have healthier junk food choices).
Also, I managed to flatten the can, bend it, and rip it with my bare hands. Pretty neat.