Monday, May 24, 2010

Extra Garnishing You Can Do Without!!!

24 May 2010, Monday

Could you imagine a life where every bite of food you put into your mouth brought with it a feeling of sheer and utter terror? Unfortunately for this girl, Nisha, that was the life she was living.
When Nisha was a teenager, her older sister died from choking – It was believed that she suffered an allergic reaction to something that she ate and, within moments, her throat closed up, she couldn’t breathe and was gone.
Although obviously affected by the incident, Nisha managed to pick her life back up and for many years after that, she continued to live her normally productive life without any problems or fears. However, in her 30s (almost two decades later), while going through a particularly tough and stressful time, Nisha seemed to suddenly find herself absolutely terrified of choking with every bite of food she put into her mouth. 
From a mental perspective, what happens is that in the moment of the trauma, your mind (in trying to protect you from the overpowering emotions you are experiencing), actually ignores your overwhelming emotions completely and puts you in a place of “pretending” that you’re okay. For more interesting stories like Nisha's, check out the link on phobiamania. 
Almost everyone has an irrational fear or two. Some get nervous at the thought of needles. Others shriek at the sight of a mouse. Still others get woozy when they look down from tall buildings. For most people, these fears are minor. But for some, these fears are so severe that they cause tremendous anxiety and interfere with normal day-to-day life.When fears are irrational and disabling, they are called phobias.
Many people experience specific phobiasspecific phobias, intense irrational fearsirrational fears of certain things or situations -- dogs, closed-in places, heights, escalatorsescalators, tunnels, highway driving, water, flying, and injuries involving blood are a few of the more common ones.
For the complete list of phobias, please check this link out. And do also visit this interesting Top Ten Most Absurd Phobias. 

Phobias occur in several forms. A specific phobia is a fear of a particular object or situation. Social phobiaSocial phobia is a fear of being painfully embarrassed in a social setting. And agoraphobiaagoraphobia, which often accompanies panic disorder panic disorder disorder, is a fear of being in any situation that might provoke a panic attackpanic attack, or from which escape might be difficult if one occurred.
And talking about agoraphobia, this struck a chord in me and  will always haunt me, because I too suffer from it. And in my case, I get this panic attack specifically when I am at shopping complexes. I become claustrophobic when I'm at a crowded shopping complex. Hence I tend to avoid sales. I feel suffocated and breathless when I see the throngs of people.
And even if the complex is not crowded but a shop is (despite me wanting and longing to go in) I tend to avoid it. I prefer a place where it is void of of customers. I like space. I feel safe and happy in a place not overflowing with people. 

And if you think that's not bad enough, recently I develop another phobia. Unfortunately, I could be one of the very small and negligible percentage out of the billions of people in this world who suffer from this type of phobia where I'm yet to find a name for it. The only other person I knew suffering from this phobia was my late mum.
Both my late mum and I have this fear of finding hair in food. Whenever we discover hair in our food, it would be  a sure way to quell our appetite. We would both stop eating immediately, no matter how delectable and delicious the food is.

I used not to bother too much about it, but lately, I tend to notice numerous instances of hair in my food and it really turns me off eating. I have reached the serious stage of this "hairy" phobia because I tend to scrutinise my food well before eating. Sometimes, I imagine that I've seen hair in food prepared by my maid, even though they are merely strands of onions or even patterns on my plates. 
Recently, I went for lunch at a restaurant. Two bites into my chicken I noticed a curly black hair wrapped around one of the pieces of chicken in my rendang. Total bummer. I removed the hot sauce-dappled hair from its nest and dropped it on the floor in disgust.
I contemplated saying something to the girl who took my order, but the place was packed with a large lunchtime crowd, and I was too upset to bother, so I just tossed out my meal.

Despite being very hungry, the disgusting hair has quashed my appetite completely. I walked away and tried to wipe my memory like in that Men In Black movie with the fancy blue flashlight on my key chain. When it didn’t work, I turned off the tear ducts and clutched my rumbling stomach and swear I will not consume the chicken-y concoction again and will not patronise that restaurant ever again. 

Which brings me to my point: What wins in the battle of your favorite food vs. hair in your favorite food? Do you continue to eat when you’ve found some potentially gonorrhea-infected pube-looking-thing in your rendang or whatever food you're eating? Or do you love rendang or sambal sotong so much you can look past the hair and enjoy your meal?

All this talk about absurd phobias doesn’t discount that some people are afflicted with such fears. The fact that there are names for these only lays testament to this fact. What is important is that such phobias don’t adversely affect a person’s life. If life still continues on, people can fear anything they want.
But, hair in food, oh my, that's TOTALLY REPULSIVE!!! I'd rather be at a crowded shopping mall and endure agoraphobia.....


  1. Exactly, rambut dlm food mmg membantutkan selera. My phobia skrg nih klu nak mkn at food court, pakai tangan or I rather use plastic fork/spoon as tetiba je dah rasa geli nak pakai yg stainless steel tu. Kengkadanglah. Especially kat tempat food court yg served non-halal food. Mcm2 imagination lah I ni bila dah berumur nih..

  2. Betul Zam - rambut..ada macam-macam rambut, ada rambut panjang, ada rambut pendek, ada rambut hitam, ada rambut putih, ada rambut lurus, ada rambut kerinting!!!

    But rambut dalam food, yuckkkyyy!!!