Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Okay, now I'm never leaving

Being an expat can be tough. Far from the familiarity of your home country and the support of your loved ones, you must navigate the tricky path to integration in a new and often very different culture. Along this path there are many hurdles to, well, hurdle over. It's life as we know it, but with a more intense and more frequent desire to get blindingly drunk.

Because it can be tough being an expat there are days in every expat's life when s/he (we're very inclusive here at WSD. You're welcome, boys) just wants to say "This shit is for crazy people" and go running back home. Maybe your Last Straw Day (LSD for short. No coincidence. By the way this is a new term I just made up and which I am giving to the world free of charge as a little linguistic gift, because I'm nice and I think everyone deserves a new lexeme1 or two now and again) was the day you told the newspaper guy to bury your husband’s newspaper (Yes, really. See this post). Or maybe it was the day you drove your bike into a little old lady, sending her to hospital with a broken arm and a busted nose. No? That was just me then. But anyway, you get my point. We all have those moments when we just want to get the heck out of Dodge, and for this reason it’s crucially important that every once in a while your new-found home throws you a bone and gives you a reason to be glad you live where you do.

I found a new reason to be glad I live in the Netherlands yesterday when I saw a TV advertisement for Lay's potato chips which announced that Lay's now suggests wine pairings for some of their chips.

And look, they even have a handy printable .pdf file which you can take with you to the liquor store.

Photo from www.lays.nl
They also have a second .pdf file which is called "Combineren kun je leren" which I love, because it basically means "You too can learn to pair the right wine with your chips." I mean, whew! All those years I thought wine experts had some secret ability to detect hints of boysenberry where I just detected floaters of cork, but now Lay's has come to my rescue. Now I too can be a wine expert just like that guy with the ridiculous (i.e. clearly made up) Italian name from the Globe and Mail.

Photo from www.lays.nl
Those of you who know anything about the women in my family know that we can get through a bag of potato chips faster than a beaver through cord of wood. And we all agree that nothing beats wine with chips. So the news that a major potato chip manufacturer has finally figured out what women in my family have known for generations is a relief. Far from having to hang our heads in shame at the fact that we don’t really want to eat smoked salmon or grapes and cheese with our wine, we can now tear into a bag of chips happy in the knowledge that this practice is officially sanctioned by the Snack Gods (well, in the Netherlands at least. You people who live in other countries still have to pretend to enjoy your oysters whilst secretly sneaking chips from your purse).

It’s obvious that Lay's is trying to target a female audience, so it’s a shame that they assume we’re interested in the Lay's "The Oven" series with 70% less fat. Because everyone knows that wine goes best with saturated fat. And since the wine works as a blood thinner, it all balances out anyway. But I'm sure the fine people at Lay's are reading this and will get busy suggesting pairings for their normal full fat chips any day now.

So there you have it, folks. It may be raining so bad here in Holland this summer that you've actually started Googling "how to build an ark" but the snacking situation is definitely looking up. I, for one, am never leaving.

1 Different from a Lexus. Yeah, sorry, but I can’t afford to be handing out Lexuses (Lexi?) every time I turn around (because I turn around multiple times a day). So be happy with the lexeme.


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The WSD's Top Ten Signs You are Becoming Dutch
  1. I, for one, was particularly interested in seeing that Pinot Grigio (favorite wine) was paired with a roasted red pepper selection. Seeing as we are still behind the times in Canada and don't have access to roasted red pepper Lays (Shame on you Frito Lays Can Inc) I believe that my next best pairing will be Sour Cream and Onion and PG. Do they suggest any pairing with non-chip chips like Crunchets or flavoured popcorn???

  2. You see! This blog totally provides a valuable service to you behind-the-times Canadians.

    On the non-chips chip front, I'm not sure, but this is obviously a very good and pressing question of both national and international urgency. Like I say, Lay's NL haven't even graduated to full fat (i.e. real) chips yet. I suspect the ad campaign was design by beer-and-nuts masculine types, which is why they're slow starters. But I live in hope.

    Thanks so much for dropping by!

  3. I was going to say the same thing as Heather - no paprika chips here! And how I miss them! Except for when I take the time to drive out to the suburbs to go to the Dutch-American Market and spend some $5 on a lone bag of paprika chips, I don't get them. I don't think we have the Mediterranean herb chips here, either, but I like plain and BBQ so this wine guide will still come in handy... ;)

  4. $5 for parprika chips is crazy stuff, Grace. Especially when you have the likes of dille pickle and the mysteriously titled "all dressed" to choose from!

  5. Did anyone else notice how my typo actually made dill pickle chips sound more sophisticated? "Dille" sounds a lot likle "Lille," so now they sound totally French and refined. So it MUST be okay to eat them. With wine.

  6. I'm actually new to the wine-loving world, and actually like all of the cheese and oysters and such. But, I also love me some horribly fattening potato chips. I should look into this, but as I'm still stuck in the US of A I'll have to settle for blindly judging my own chip and wine pairings. ;p

  7. On the upside, your need to blind judge the suitability of your wine-chip combos will give you a good excuse for repeated, long bouts of drinking and snacking, so bonus for you, really.