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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Fortune cookies, this blog and Catholic Tibetans in China

A short anecdote.

We snapped open our complimentary fortune cookies after our dinner at Rhodes recently. It was funny but each of our fortunes seemed highly appropriate. The pragmatic side of me, however, was convinced we were just gullibly buying into statements that could actually apply to anyone, a phenomenon also known as the Barnum effect. The above fortune was mine. Veruca Salt was convinced that it referred to readers of Grab Your Fork. I just laughed.

Twelve days later, I received an email from a reader, NJ.

"Dear Helen

I've been reading your site for years (used to constitute some of the respite from work), but I've never thought about writing to you until recently. I'm sure you get lots of fanmail but please let me contribute my two cents ;)

I quit my job in Sydney and travelled around Asia for a year in 2008. At the end of it, I met a fellow Sydney man and we went out to this really rural place in China to celebrate Christmas with a bunch of Catholic Tibetans who were pretty cut off from the outside world. This place was really out in the sticks - no electricity, no running water, no roads. Of course there was nothing to do, so we sat there with our yak butter tea and talked about whatever came into our minds. Somehow we discovered that we both read and ate from your website, so that became a hot topic of conversation - absolutely the last place I'd imagined that I'd be talking about a Sydney food website!..."

It made me laugh. The idea of two strangers talking about my blog in rural China amidst a gathering of Catholic Tibetans is a little surreal to say the least.

And I do have to laugh at coincidence and the serendipitous quirks of life. Too bizarre!

PS. The kind folk at Metamucil are reminding readers they can obtain free samples of Metamucil Fibresure on their website. No muffin tins or cupcake kits though, I presume.

PPS. I've loving the ever-changing stats on my reader survey in the side column. Who is your favourite Iron Chef? I'd thought there'd be a clear winner but surprisingly it's reasonably close. Chen Kenichi remains ahead but only by a gold tassle or two.
7 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 1/17/2009 12:53:00 am


  • At 1/17/2009 2:45 am, Blogger Howard said…

    That is very random indeed! It just goes to show how social networks/blogging are connecting people.

    Oh and my fav Iron Chef would have to be Hiroyuki Sakai !

  • At 1/17/2009 10:53 am, Blogger Y said…

    How cool! And here I was thinking fortune cookie were a load of sugary nonsense. :)

  • At 1/17/2009 6:15 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I love that story, it's so random and yet so sweet!

  • At 1/17/2009 10:52 pm, Blogger mutikonka said…

    You can see some of the Catholic Tibetans (and their food) at my Flickr set here:

  • At 1/18/2009 1:39 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Howard - Oh yes networking these days is all about blogs and being online :)

    My fave Iron Chef is Chen because he's always so jovial - he makes me smile. Plus I love the pained expression he gives whenever he is picked or when he first spots the secret ingredient!

    Hi Y - lol. Nothing nonsensical about sugar :)

    Hi Heidi - Just goes to show you never know who's reading your blog! And how small the world is too!

    Hi Michael - Thanks for the link. Your photos are great. You must have had a fantastic time there. The people look so beautiful.

  • At 1/19/2009 9:08 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    What a wonderful story. You gotta believe the fortune cookie.

  • At 1/20/2009 12:42 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Veruca Salt - Ha, and wasn't your fortune about being good at dispensing advice? The fortune cookie doesn't lie!


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