Archive for January, 2010


Little Drops Etiquette

Before my English husband and I were engaged, he taught me how to eat properly before he would let me eat in front of his mother and father at their home in Braintree, England. He comes from what we as Americans would consider a middle upper-class provincial home. He demonstrated the European method to hold one’s fork– upside down in one’s left hand and the knife in one’s right hand.

I had to practice at home in order that I didn’t unconsciously slip into my uncivilized way of eating American style which my husband found awkward.  You see, during the meal, I would get tired of trying to balance peas on my fork and revert to the American way. Invariably, I’d get this look and a slight cough.  Fortunately, I can safely say that I did not embarrass my husbands at his parents’ home–my future in-laws. Against all cultural odds, we were married soon after.  However,  I would get my revenge 14 years later, in of all places: India.

It was New Years Day in 1996. we had been invited to a modest home in the outskirts of Madras, as it was called then,  for breakfast. One of our new friends, Pradeep, an administrator for Little Drops, (an offshoot from Mother Theresa’s work), was taking us with a few of his friends to his supervisor’s home. We had to travel over dirt roads, over-taking water buffalo pulling cart-loads of produce, swarms of people on bicycles, and the occasional automatic rickshaw that had a fare from the city. I tried to keep track of where we were but I was soon lost in a maze of back streets.

The farther we  got from Madras, the more we were in the real India. In just a few miles, the suburbs quickly disappeared and we were suddenly in the villages. As soon as we left the city, gone were the five-star hotels, the British Raj edifices, the ambassador cars, the shopping malls, and the fine restaurants which could lull one in thinking that India was not so different from back home. While peering through the open window of the car, Stephen told me that he felt as if he had changed the the channel to a National Geographic documentary. We watched darkly tanned ladies coming from the local well, gracefully balancing shiny brass jugs on their head, effortlessly as models going down a runway in Paris. Their saris billowed in morning breeze, looking more colorful and striking than Coco Channel’s spring collection. The sun, no longer blocked by tall city buildings, shot bright yellow spotlights on the ladies through the palm trees. So bright was the day that the raspberry colored borganvilla plants appeared to light up on their own, as they fell against the fences and walls around the villages. Their aroma was one of the myriad of powerful scents of South India that came through the open windows of our car. While enjoying the borganvilla, my husband caught a waft of burning cow dung that the women use for fuel. On the side of the road, we watched one woman making uniform round brown patties of dung. I found that she would later put them on a wall to dry, giving a new meaning to residential recyling.

As we arrived at a modest group of houses, the car came to a stop. As we walked up the stairs to a small flat or apartment, Paul gave us a hearty hello. His balding crown and graying hair couldn’t belie his child-like and free spirit. Full of gaiety and warmth, his observant round eyes still took the time to take in our every detail.

He showed us into his living room, or hall, where an older man who had apparently suffered from leprosy greeted us. Although cured, the ravages of the disease had left him with stubs for fingers. His nose had also been affected.  We shook hands warmly with him and soon learned that the leprosy had not impaired his voice. He was going to sing the grace before breakfast. Although we didn’t understand a word of his Tamil, never do I remember hearing such depth, resonance, clarity, and fullness of song. Afterward,  he quietly left. He was fasting that day.

On the table was a breakfast made on special occasions: lamb stew in a coconut gravy. After such a long and dusty trip, we all took turns washing our hands in the bathroom in cold water, the only tap. Instead of using a towel, we “drip-dried,” flinging water at one another. As we sat down, there was just about enough room for all of us to sit around the table. From my vantage point, I could easily view the streets below and catch a breeze. An older woman who I learned was their servant for many years dished up the stew for us. I had inquired where Paul’s wife and children were and found that Shelia hadn’t yet finished her morning prayers in her bedroom. Their two children were also in the bedroom, a little sick from eating too much food from the carnival that Paul’s ministry had arranged the day before as a fund-raiser.

Once the lady served the stew on top of mountains of rice on our plates, except the native from Braintree, we all began to dig in–literally. In South Indian fashion, one eats with the utensils that God gave: the fingers. Now, as with all ancient customs in India, there is an art to this. I had already learned this custom by watching how my Indian friends ate from the corner of my eye while ostensibly listening to the conversations around me. I quietly surveyed South Indians mixing the gravy and the rice together, careful not to allow the food to rise beyond the second joints of their fingers.

As I attempted to eat this way myself, I found it very liberating. I’m not sure how long one is suppose to swish around the rice with the stew, but after a certain interval, I learned to fan my fingers. Without bending them, bringing them together, and mold a nice mouthful of food. Indians do not look down at what they are doing, but are constantly talking, unconsciously swishing their finger about the plate, preparing that perfect morsel. Perhaps this creative sculpturing helps them make better conversation.

Once South Indians feel that they have sculptured a nice ball of food, they pick it up delicately with their fingers, then flick it in their mouths, using the thumb as leverage. If they are really adept, fingers hardly touch the mouth, and there are no little drops of rice falling in the plate, on the table, or on the lap. By careful covert observation on this day, I learned to press down on the plate while squeezing the food together to really get an effective mold. Once I learned this process, I successfully popped the morsel in my mouth with total South Indian decorum.

I was ready to swish my finger around again to make another bite when I realized that my poor husband was at a loss. He had never bothered to watch how South Indians ate, maintaining that he would most definitely never eat with his hands. He thought that Americans were uncivilized enough when they ate with only a fork. I remember after living in England for three years, our coming from JFK Airport, we stopped for a pizza at a rather basic eating establishment. My Braintree husband  insisted on having a knife and fork with which to eat his pepperoni pizza. Later, when we ate steamed crabs in Baltimore, the waitress literally circled our table again and again, watching my husband eating a steamed crab with a fork while the rest of the restaurant banged the crabs open with a wooden mallet and picked through the shells for the meat.

But on this New Year’s Day, 1996, as we ate our first meal of the year, there were no waitresses who could procure knives, forks, or spoons, even plastic ones. The servant lady looked and looked but there were no eating utensils in Shelia’s kitchen. Paul and Sheila simply didn’t own any. Because Paul works for Indian Airlines to earn money for his Little Drops Ministry, he knew a little about British foreigners and immediately understood my husband’s predicament. Sensing his supervisor’s wishes, Pradeep immediately jumped up and ran out of the apartment to buy a spoon for Stephen. Knowing their modest means, Stephen did not want them to spend their money for a spoon that would not be used in the household again. Stephen was finally prepared to start a New Year with a new way of eating. Through the windows, Paul called Pradeep to come back.

As Pradeep returned to his chair, the fun began. Everyone at the table stopped swishing and eating to watch my blushing British husband baptize his hands into the meal, resulting in a great shout from all and laughter following. India had won! This little town near Madras had done what America, another British renegade, could not do: vanquishing an Englishman’s reserve. Once immersed in the stew, with no way out, Stephen joined in the merriment and enjoyed himself, slapping the food in his mouth with abandon, oblivious to the little drops of rice falling everywhere. If his mother in Braintree could only see him now! Certainly she would have told him not to play with his food.

As Paul looked on with something more than simple merriment, he quietly said to me, “You know, I have been to your husband’s country. I know how they are and how they eat. I know what great character your husband has. He is eating like my son did when he was two years old. He has no idea of the proper way, but he tries and that really touches me more than anything else.” Paul was not impressed that I had learned how to eat in the proper South Indian manner. He was more touched by my husband who did it all wrong. I knew that we would have much to learn from this man who had heard Mother Teresa that it is the little drops that make an ocean of difference.


Charades or How I Got My Job in Air France

The year is 1986. I had been just about surviving in Paris for the last few years. I held the receiver as close to the tape recorder as possible to catch the Parisian-style French pouring out of my innocent, hapless telephone: the Air France personnel secretary was flooding me with directions to her office at Charles de Gaulle Airport. I had an interview on Friday, 9:00 a.m.–that much I understood. Somehow, the bureaucracy of Air France had actually not only received my application but even understood what I wrote and deemed it not only proper French, (with the help of three French friends), but decided that I was worth interviewing. Air France– not USAir, Allegany Airlines, or Amtrack–wanted to interview the girl who got a “D” in French at Ridgely Junior High School. It was a good thing that airlines do not demand to see your scholastic records.

Rewinding and playing the directions over and over again, I felt like a French underground cryptographer, writing down stray words that I caught. I finally figured out where I was supposed to go: into the catacombs of one of the largest airports in the world, into the bowels of a great monster where all shapes and sizes of the human race gather to be shipped around the world. It made me remember the first time I arrived at Charles de Gaulle airport; it was my first time in an airplane, and my first trip overseas. I was twenty-four years old with frosted hair, too much baby fat, and too much joie de vivre to blend in with a French crowd. I sallied forth from the plane and decided to say “Bonjour” to the first French person I saw (which happened to be a rather serious French customs officer). Before then, French had been only a play language between us francophiles. Now, my French was an authentic language for the first time, but the customs officer totally ignored me like I was air. Nevertheless, somebody who is 24 and a world traveler doesn’t care.

That was ten years ago. I’m no longer the “American in Paris,” anymore. Living in England, Holland, and now France has given me more respect for the European mind. Being married to Englishman has taught me to be little calmer. But living in Paris for over a year and a half has not taught me what I wanted to know about Paris. More than just a language barrier, a glass wall surrounds me wherever I go in this city. These people breathe different air than I do. I’m going through life with subtitles.

When we had only been in Paris for a short time, I had to make a telephone call. We didn’t have a phone yet. When you are new to a country, there are a lot of things that you don’t have yet. I went to the local Post Office to find a row of telephone booths. I had no sooner put my franc in the coin slot when a stolid middle-aged woman started banging the glass door with her fist. She was incensed, but she was not an exception in my daily life in Paris. You could walk down the street and see men and women in their designer suits screaming at each other, waving their hands in angry Gaelic gestures, complete with fierce facial expressions that Marcel Marceau could use. Over what? Who knows? I learned that this was Paris. Paris was my concierge intently surveying our comings and goings without a smile. Paris was the wrong line at the Post Office to the disgust of some lowly bureaucrat. Paris was the wrong metro stop and being too intimidated to ask for directions. I must be masochistic to actually desire to work at a Paris airport.

In applying for this post as “the one most likely not to succeed,” I followed a lifetime pattern of hard-headedness. Mrs. Warmsley christened me during my stay in Colchester, England a “very determined young lady.” The Yankee doodle dandy, the ugly American, loud, brash, and bold and blunt, I found my way. Only audacity and temerity could make me enroll in a teacher-training course where Mrs. Warmsley instructed teachers of English for foreigners. The unspoken joke in the class was that I was the foreigner. An American teaching English seemed an oxymoron to them. A Cockney-sounding fellow student inquired if Americans actually used the present perfect in our “dialect.” Without a bachelor’s degree, I did not even actually qualify to be in the course. But then, I was American; no one ever told us that we couldn’t do something we wanted.

It was the little red Royal Society of Arts handbook that gave me the crack in the royal armor: one could be accepted if one taught a class under the supervision of the Head of the Department, wrote a paper, and was found a worthy candidate. Then one could apply to take the R.S.A. exam at the end of the course. Mrs. Warmsley who breathed grammar, syntax, and diction was at a loss for words–for about ten seconds–when I reported my findings. In the end, I actually learned how to write British Received Pronunciation in phonetics and passed my R.S.A. written exam and my T.E.S.L. Trinity College Exam. As far as I know, the other students in my class are still doing the same things they were doing before they took the course. But then, they aren’t American, are they?

After conquering the English, I felt prepared for the famous French xenophobia. The French are not personal in their prejudice. They don’t like any foreigners. As a fading empire, all they have to hang on to is their language and their culture, both of which are quickly losing ground to MTV. In Paris, I probably experienced a little of what all immigrants go through. I had flashes of was like to be a Negro in America during the 50’s. What it must fee like to be hard of hearing, having to make people repeat themselves. Many times, I was cut adrift in the waves of spontaneous French conversation. In America, I can hold my own with sharp wit, easily adjusting to different strata of society. In Paris, I was dull-witted, child-like, and worse, stupid to an impatient, intolerant audience. In America, I am fairly sophisticated; in Paris, I am a tourist characature: not enough make-up, hair too long, and still too fat, (even though in America, my friends, by this time, thought I was anorexic). Is this an Air France ground hostess? Is my “can do” transatlantic attitude as naive as the French would have me believe? Could I really fool anyone? Put on an act? Could I pretend I didn’t come from Timonium, Maryland, where people eat crabs with wooden hammers and sticky fingers? Am I going for a job, or a part in a new movie, “Gidget goes to Gaul?”

But Air France did have one person that was not dripping with Channel No. 5, black eye liner, and a scowl. Her name was Nutan Bhinda, another Parisian immigrant who was one of those cosmopolitan people who don’t really belong to one country. She was born in India, brought up in England, spoke Italian and French flawlessly and she was my friend. She was also gorgeous. As we would go to lunch, Parisian men would trip over themselves looking at her on Avenue Montaigne. She had a mane of blue-black hair that rested thickly around her shoulders. With classic features and café‚ au lait skin, brown eyes that melted into black, she was a tropical delight.

One day at lunch, she mentioned to me that Air France was looking for a liaison agent to take care of American clients. I had not come all the way to Paris to spend my days arranging the travel for American tourists. The city was starting to have its influence on me. I did not want to hold their hands when the big, bad French people were nasty. I fought too long to learn how to cope. But Nutan insisted that I apply for the job. Maybe because I had learned how to cope that I should consider it.

Nutan not only helped me with the lengthy application form, where I used my teacher-style rounded writing, (the French employ experts to analyze handwriting) but she also coached me for the interview process. Apparently, the French–especially Air France, due to the stressful nature of the work–base much of their hiring on psychological tests, where the applicant draws pictures. They determine what personality is suited for the demands of the job. Nutan gave me a well-thumbed book, passed on to her by other Air France personnel, which showed how to beat the tests. Just for fun, I took some of the tests and found out that I was “withdrawn, melancholic, easily irritated.” I would have never landed the job, but then, how do most French people pass? They buy this book.

After studying the right way to draw a tree, and how to answer other vital questions, Nutan trained me for the interview itself. I was not to play with my fingers or move my hands, which I always do as an Italian-American. My fingers are my accompaniment to all discourse. Being the nervous type, I pick my cuticles, a 20th century phenomenon, I’m sure, when I am thinking or obsessing,(this word has recently bumped into the verb form–typical of the American dialect). I had to learn how not to talk with my hands, now with well-manicured digits. I tried to pretend that my hands were cemented together on my lap in order to give the impression that I was relaxed and unruffled.

No part in a play would be complete without a good wardrobe mistress. As a leftover from the 70’s comfort look. If you can’t sit on the floor with what you are wearing, then what are you wearing it for? You wear the clothes, don’t let the clothes wear you. This motto was an excuse not to spend an inordinate amount of time primping. Unlike most women, I hate to take the time to study if my shoes are the exact shade of my dress. I only care if clothes give me a feeling of freedom for my thoughts: flowing skirts, long enough so I don’t have to wear nylons; shoes that I can run in to catch the metro ahead of the crowd; lipstick that doesn’t look like I ate too many cherries; and hair that I can put my fingers through when I’m pensive or bored, (another thing Nutan told me is verboten, playing with your hair at the interview: cemented palms, that’s what I’ll have). I abhor hair that looks like a wig, or a helmet, that took more time to sculpt than The Thinker.

This image is all in the past for me. Instead, I had to learn, not only to put on lipstick with a tiny brush that I once used to use for miniature painting, but to draw a line all around my lips to give “definition.” I was thankful that I took Drawing 101, 102 at Towson State College. How others manage, I can’t imagine. Worst of all, I had to get that dreaded suit out of the cleaners. The one with the straight skirt. The one in which I walk like a Chinese girl who has had her feet bound. The one with a straight jacket, tailored to keep me from talking with my hands and waving my arms in punctuation. That one. The high heels, well, I knew they had to come out of hiding. Taller than most French women in stocking feet, I now looked like an Amazon warrior, prepared to lead the battle, except that I had almost forgotten how to keep my balance in heels.

The sun didn’t forget to rise on Friday. The mirror reminded me that I was 35 years old, almost too old to even apply for the job. The final interview was not at the airport after all, but at some office in the 16th arrondissement. As I entered the building, crowds of Parisian beauties had already filled the hall. They were slim as pencils, petite, simply tastefully dressed in magazine fashions that I only flipped through at the hairdresser’s. Someone called my Anglo-Saxon name, which I almost didn’t recognize because of the heavy French accent.

Once in the office, I faced three executive women, seated behind a long table. If the purpose was meant to intimidate, it was effective. They stared at me as if I were a strange, anatomical specimen for one of their research papers. The white-haired lady, with the petite, round face, was the psychiatrist. The personnel director was nondescript and made no impression on my memory, as is the wont of bureaucratic workers. The other lady wore her hair severely pulled from her face, showing off sharp features, made more pronounced with the indignity of age. She wore the typical uniform of the Parisian matron: Channel suit with gold buttons, lots of jewelry, scarf deftly tied as only a French woman can do with panache, and perfect make-up that masked her peasant ancestry.

After formal introductions where you “present” one another to one another, and other phatic pleasantries, the psychiatrist immediately asked why my hair was different than my photo which I had submitted. She interrogated me as to my ability to coiffure my own hair. I suppose this is a very important skill to have mastered if I am to get the job–not to do hair–but not to be intimidated. After answering, to head off the obvious question, I immediately thanked them for their patience with my French. As I rightly predicted, they seized upon this like a good piece of gossip and asked me how I would cope with the French passengers. Of course I gave the party line: I said that the French were a very friendly and understanding people and that in time I would improve. Neither one of us believed the statement but I passed the PR test.

Towards the end of this long, pedantic interview, the psychiatrist spotted on my application that I had performed and taught seminars on mime. Then she made a most unusual request for which Nutan did not prepare me: she asked me in very polite French, if I would mind performing for the panel. Understanding not just the French, but the implied command, I accepted. Off came the straight jacket and the high heels, but the straight skirt would limit movement from the waist down. My coiffure, secured only by a few bobby pins and a breath of hair spray, was precariously in danger of falling on my face, a mimic’s canvas for expression. Gratefully, I remembered a simple maneuver of pretending to be blocked by an invisible wall. Putting my palms straight up, perpendicular to the ceiling, (I’m glad I didn’t cement them to my lap after all), and keeping them rock still, I pushed my shoulders back and forth, to give the impression that I was, indeed, pressing against a wall. After a few minutes of pushing different sides of the walls which had me boxed in, and grimacing frustration that there was no way out, I produced a key from my pocket and unlocked one of the walls which now became a door. I had a big smile on my face and wiped the sweat off of my brow in relief. I then bowed to my audience who, like all French audiences for mime, clapped with glee. No one likes mime like the French. It turns them into little children watching Punch and Judy at the Tuilleries Park. Even the nondescript lady smiled broadly through her make-up. Two weeks later, in some obscure recess of the catacombs in Charles de Gaulle, I found myself being fitted for my navy blue Air France uniforms by another Air France employee, handbag and shoes to match.


Marcel Marceau at the Anganwadi Daycare Center

I went to the anganwadi alone on Thursday. That meant my communication with the teachers would be limited to my elementary Tamil. It is a double anganwadi which means there are two teachers. These teachers are incredible. I couldn’t do what they do. They are my heroes.

As I approached the door, I heard unusual disruption. There was an inordinate amount of crying and screaming. It made me think of the song, “Mama Said There’d be Days Like This, My Mama Said.” So I knew I needed to pull a rabbit out of the hat. I entered singing the time-honoured song, “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.”  I wish I could sing it as well as this Indian lady. We kept singing it until most of the angry feelings had left.

Then I did what I haven’t done for many years: mime. When my husband and I were living in Paris, we got to see Marcel Marceau perform. He did David and Goliath, the Mask–which I modified for training exercises, and Adam and Eve. He was so incredibly inspiring. My husband and I actually dating while doing street theatre and mime. We used Marceau’s mime, “Adam and Eve.” (I wish I was as talented as this lady.) I can still do a pretty good snake with my arm. But one mime really struck me that he did–the box mime–it’s a mime where the victim finds himself caught in an invisible box. He bangs his fists furiously, trying to get out.

My husband and I did mime in various countries in Europe. In fact, I got my job working for Air France as a Concorde ground agent doing mime during the interview. In France, when we would put the white face on and start performing, hauty-looking people would suddenly change into impressionable children. You don’t know the French until you perform mime on the streets of Paris in front of the Sacre-Coeur. On the other hand, when we did mime at Colchester Castle Park, it went over like a lead balloon, and we became very self-conscious.  I think it may have had something to do with our next-door neighbour recognizing us and just saying, “Oh, hello.” and kept on walking.

In Italy, everyone already does mime when they talk, so it is one of the best places to do mime. One of the most rewarding places was in Helsinki, Finland. Finnish people the opposite of Italians–they aren’t what you’d call demonstrative. But when we did mime, crowds would come and we felt they were totally withus. In India, we don’t need make-up. We have white faces.

So years and continents later, here I was in a government pre-school with 40 unhappy kids and two tired teachers. So I started doing the mime. It is safe to say that these kids probably have never seen mime. It is sort of an abstract art. You have to concentrate to get it. I was taking a chance. The Twinkle warm-up was good, but would I lose my audience by trying something too high-brow.

These kids got it! They laughted at all the right places. Finally I motioned to one bright little girl to turn the “knob” on the other side of my “door.” She set me free!

Yes, these kids are always setting me free from the banalities of adulthood.  With them, you fly faster and higher than with the Concorde.

P.S.  I got to meet Marcel Marceau.  He was a passenger on the Concorde.  I must admit, I had fun giving him his boarding pass in a Marcel Marceau fashion.  He was very kind about my performance but did not insist I quit my day job.


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Casa dei Bambini in Chennai — Thanks to Maria Montessori

It was  Pongal last week  in Chennai. It is a time when Tamils celebrate the harvest–perhaps sort of like our Thanksgiving in America. Early in the morning, the housewives can leave behind their endless drudgery and become creative. Each becomes an artist, using the street right outside her door as her canvas. The woman bends from her waist down to the ground, pouring a special chalk like icing in a funnel onto the street. Some made dots in a geometric pattern to guide them in their designs. These amazing works of art called kolams last only hours. Soon they will be trampled or blown away.
So much of what we do in life is eventually trampled or blown away. But one creative work that we can do has lasting results. Maria Montessori found such a creative outlet–and it is this outlet that has become my medium.

I like to think that Italians think differently than the rest of the Western World. They can be creative and technical at the same time. They have always thought “outside the box.” They were never in the box and would see it as a coffin that would entomb their ideas. Maria was the first physician of Italy, but being a woman, she had that nurturing side. She saw the beautiful canvases of young minds.
On Tuesday, Prema and I went to our own Casa dei Bambini, not unlike the one Maria started in the slums of Roma. We had given them blocks and puzzles last week and were wondering how they were getting on. By the way, it is no good seeing the second video to understand the progress of the kids. You’d have to see the first one that I have uploaded about Lakshipuram that I made three years to really see the state of the children. Imagine giving a toy to a little child, and he just sits there and doesn’t play with it. You literally have to teach him to play. And where we are located is not the real slums, the real ghettos of Madras.
Well anyway, on Tuesday, we saw magic happen. We saw that the children’s little minds were more than canvases but gardens. We actually saw a few seedlings popping out from the soil where we had planted seeds. We are not the gardeners–Sarguna and Saraswati are–the teachers there. In spite of very low pay and no honor for what they do, they smile and care about the children. We have seen other teachers who are bitter, listless as the children, and short-tempered–yes, you know what that means. So these teachers are special. They were happy when we first came, but when they realized that we were coming regularly, they have a new glow in their eyes. We try to spend as much time with them as we do with the bambini.

Thank God Prema, my partner, speaks fluent Tamil and is so gentle and kind. She found out that one of the little girl’s mom died last week. The little girl was found wondering in the streets and fainted. She went for a cat scan at the hospital. Her older sister needs school fees now. Such are the unfinished stories that Prema hears. The 40 children stand for 40 families that we many never see but we can access through their most valuable resource–the next gen.

At this Pongal time, I thank God that I have access to be able to go to this pre-school center. I need it as much as any of the kids. It’s like writing a symphony, sculpting, researching. So many ideas come to mind when playing with these children, so thirsty to learn–their hands so eager to connect and form.
For many, the children at the government pre-school (anganwadi) are the trash of society. No one wants to marry an anganwadi teacher. In contrast to their lives, I’ve taught seminars for the software engineers–the IT elite–the best and the brightest. They swagger in class, talking into their cell phones with the pretentiousness of a maharajah. I’m thinking the next time I do a seminar for them, I have an idea for a team-building exercise–I will bring the straw mats we use in the anganwadis, have them all sit down in groups, pour the blocks out on each mat, and instruct each group to construct an anganwadi center.


Chocolate Lover’s Version of Some Verses

(Inspired by my friend Bungi)

Exodus 3:8  and I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto The Promises Land, unto a land flowing with whipped cream and chocolate sauce.

Exodus 16:31  And the house of Israel called the name thereof Manna: and it was like oreo cookies, white; and the taste of it was like wafers made with chocolate.

Job 20:17  He shall not look upon the rivers, the flowing streams of chocolate syrup and chunky peanut butter.

Psalm 19:9 The Word of the LORD is so filling–like chocolate filling in a Dunkin’s donut.
Psalm 19:10  I want them more than a gold necklace, yeah, more than fine jewelry.  The word tastes better than a freshly baked black forest cake.

Psalm 119:103  How scrumptious are Your Words to eat! Yeah, they are more delicious than a piece of Godiva chocolate melting in my mouth!

Proverbs 24:13  My daughter, eat chocolate, for it is good; and the chocolate pudding, which is sweet to thy taste:

Proverbs 25:27  Just like it is not good to eat too much chocolate, it’s not good for men to search out their own glory.

Song of Solomon 4:11  Your kisses, Sweetheart, taste like Hershey Kisses.

Isaiah 7:15  Peanut Butter (the crunchy kind)  and fine Cadbury Chocolate (even though it’s owned by Kraft)  from the UK shall he eat, when he knoweth to refuse the evil, and choose the good.

Isaiah 7:22  and it shall come to pass, for the abundance of milk that they shall give he shall eat hot fudge walnut ice cream “Sabbath-days”–this shall every one eat that is left in the midst of the land.

Ezekiel 3:3  And the angel said to me, “Daugher, eat, and fill thy stomach with this Word.” Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as creamy chocolate double fudge.

Ezekiel 16:13  You were decked out with gold and silver; and your designer clothes were of fine linen, and pure silk, with embroidered work; thou didst eat chocolate mousse: and thou wast exceeding beautiful, and thou didst prosper unto royal estate.

Psalm 34:8  O taste and see that the LORD is better than chocolate: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.

Job 23:12 I have not gone back from the commandments of his lips;
I have treasured up the words of his mouth more than imported Swiss almond choclate

(And who said that angel’s food cake can’t be chocolate!)

By the way the Hebrew word for honey is “d’bish” — all the Dubishes I know are sweet.