Pondering Words as I Travel

Today is Day 11 of my trip. The first part of this adventure was a Tango holiday with Argentine Tango dancers from around the world. English was, and is, the common default language for this and many other international gatherings. But that does not mean we spoke the same English with the same meanings of words. Early on I discovered that “college” was roughly the equivalent of high school in The Netherlands and that I should say “University” to mean my years at NYU.

I was also charmed by the Capetown, Malta, London, Leeds, & Edinburgh accents and use of vocabulary that is uncommon in the United States. And I had conversations with people from Argentina, Spain, Kenya, Belgium, Switzerland, and many other places that I will recall both for content and style. It was a feast of words!

Am I infatuated with words? Yes.

Yesterday, I arrived in Porto, Portugal and I’m searching for the words to describe dinner last night. What can one say about foie gras creme brulee? It was rich and sweet and strange and wonderful and… There must be a word!

Strange & Wonderful starter course, so small but so rich it had to be shared!


  1. Fois gras creme brulee?????? I like sweet and sour things but sweet and full fat? Didn’t it make you a bit…queasy?
    That said, I fell in love with cheese and honey in Spain so maybe I shouldn’t talk. 🙂
    Cookie/biscuit, college/university, jam/jelly? I always get super confused with that one as for us, jelly is a wobbly dessert with next to no substance or flavour. You’re a weird mob. :p

    • Candy Korman

      It is exactly the same odd and wonderful combination formula as rich cheese and honey, but more so.
      I would not have ordered it on my own, but one of my traveling friends—well pretty much everyone I travel with—is into food adventures, so… The small portion was right for sharing. It was one of many taste experiments on this trip. During the Dutch part of the holiday, I went to a multi-course, wine-paired meal where each plate was full of surprises. We had to tell the staff if we had food allergies or serious qualms and then plate after plate arrived with arrangements of tiny jewels of food. It was a lovely experience!

      Describing sensations, aromas, tastes, experiences of all kinds is so much a part of good fiction that pushing the envelope is a good exercise. Don’t you agree?