September 2012
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Road Trip to South Jersey

This weekend was a great example of why you should make friends with people from different areas. While you may be comforted as a freshman to make friends that live pretty close to you, it is a great idea to make friends with people that live in different parts of the country, or even a different country than you. It is a great opportunity to meet different cultures of people and explore new places of the world. I am best friends with someone who lives in New Jersey. Now, I was born in Jersey, but I had no idea what the difference between where she lives and where I was born were. By befriending her, I learned that North and South Jersey are two completely different things. I was born in North Jersey and she lives in South. I had never been to her area of New Jersey so one weekend she was going home to work she asked me if I wanted to come along. I said sure seeing it as a nice way to spend a weekend off campus. This past weekend, I went home with her again and got to explore a little bit of her town’s cuisine.

Usually when I go home with her, her parents cook for us. Her parents are excellent cooks, but this weekend was a little different. Because of different events going on, both her parents were too busy to cook so we went out to a very nice dinner Saturday night. We went to this small restaurant, “Mirko’s Taste of Europe”. It was phenomenal!  Each week he chooses a European country to showcase. Last week was Spain. He had traditional Spanish dishes on the menu that made your mouth water just from reading the descriptions. He also had a whole menu of dishes from all over Europe. Personally, I am a huge fan of French food. I decided to try the Bolognese. It was so delicious and so filling that it was even hard to finish off with dessert. Mirko, the chef, came right to our table and talked to us for a while and even brought us pallet cleansing things in between courses. The service was wonderful and the food was out of this world. The chocolate raspberry moose torte I finished off my dinner with had the button of my pants screaming but it was too good not to finish.

If I had never become friends with her, I would never have tried any of the foods I tried that night. The restaurant was so different than anything in or around my hometown.  I am so happy that I chose to go home with her this past weekend because I was exposed to a culture I may never had been exposed to otherwise. Meeting people from all over the country and the world creates wonderful opportunities to expand not only your cultural understanding but also your food pallet.

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