Micronesia

on

We’re here and I’m back online (sometimes).

I think a quick vegan-travel update is required. Also, check out these pretty photos:

VGML

We flew continental, and were given a meal on each plane- pita, calzone and wrap (each on different flights), all with the same filling (which wasn’t great, but was edible) fruit, and awesome muffins. Be warned though- the muffins are fabulous, but seem to be accompanied by somewhat unfabulous gassiness, so if you’re prim, or traveling with a new or prospective love interest, choosing to abstain might be a good idea.

We arrived at the airport in Guam at around 5AM, having already been traveling without sleep for about 13 hours. After a very long time (about 2 hours in total) standing in lines (you have to go through the whole US customs and immigration rigmarole even if you’re transiting) we finally got to the food court. Pickings were slim. So slim, in fact, that we were forced to choose between having nothing or having Burger King. We caved, and two vegie burgers (vegan) and fries (also vegan) were ordered. I thought they were good, Mr thought it wasn’t even a very good approximation of food.

I also had some truly awful American Coffee from a place called Microneisan Munchies which claimed to be serving a brand called Seatlle’s Best. Really gross.

Drinks otherwise were limited to hugely chloriney tap water. A nap on the floor followed, and then we were on another plane.

Vegan things you can buy in Pohnpei

Palm Terrace is a supermarket, and has the best array of vegan food so far. They have soy milk, tofu (fresh and the UHT stuff), tinned beans of all types, vegetarian re-fried beans, rice, pasta, sugar (without bone char we think), cereal (only two or three vegan options), peanut butter, and salsa. There is also lots of junk food, like biscuits, chips, lollies, some of which are vegan. (we have eaten a lot of oreos as a stop-gap lately).

There are three main problems we’ve had eating vegan here so far:

  1. There is very little in the way of fresh vegetables. The supermarket has only lemons, onions, cucumber and potatoes this fortnight, and smaller shops have nothing. The market has coconut, taro, bananas and sweet potato, but no one has greens. We don’t have a kitchen yet, but when we do, I’ll report back about the canned vegies you can get here (american things like canned sweet pumpkin, canned greens).
  2. Eating out and buying island-made snacks is tricky, as not everyone either understands or wants to understand what we’re asking (does it have milk, etc). Things might be ok, but as yet we just don’t know what’s in the bread, doughnuts, rice snacks, etc.
  3. We’ve been tweaking our eating related morals a little. No, we haven’t started eating fish, and really we wont need to at all, but we have found ourselves living almost exclusively off of big nasty corporations like Burger King, Nabisco, Nestle (I think that’s what the tea is) and Kraft. Ick.

Restaurant Review, PCR (restaurant below the Pohnpei Surf Club hotel)

We have eaten dinner at the restaurant attached to the hotel we’re staying in three nights in a row now.

On Monday night, weary from a very long trip and in desperate need of some protein, we took in some refried beans and they heated them up for us, and gave us rice and some drinks. We had looked at the menu, and it didn’t have a single vegetarian thing on it.

They weren’t super happy about it, but said they would do it for us, and we were very grateful. They told us, come in tomorrow, and order anything without meat, and we’ll make it.

Next night we did just that. We asked if they had tofu, but we weren’t very hopeful as it wasn’t on the menu. But, we were in luck. They did have tofu, and we got two serves of it, and two serves of vegetables, and some fried rice.

The fried rice wasn’t amazing, but it was tasty enough. The vegetables were fantastic. They were plentiful and crunchy, which we weren’t expecting as almost everything comes form a can. It was cabbage and carrots and onion, and I was pretty happy to be getting some vitamin C. Apparently a container had just com in, bearing some fresh produce, so we’ll see whether pickings get slimmer next week.

The tofu was nice too. It was served like the Autumn tofu I made in Japanese week, but it was cold, which is actually very welcome in this climate. It came plain, with some ginger and onion on top. We added a little soy sauce, and together it actually made a great meal.

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