My mom is an international school teacher. Not only does that mean she’s been able to live in some pretty incredible places, but I’ve been lucky enough to have occasion to visit her.
One of the schools she used to teach at was in Lausanne, Switzerland. As you can imagine, with the Alps in such close proximity, it’s fairly common for schools to host winter outings for the teachers and students.
Although our whole family knows how to ski (part of the joy of growing up in Colorado,) Mom ended up having a pretty bad accident on the slopes one year. Meaning a yard sale of winter clothes and broken bones down the slopes, BAD. I ended up flying out and staying with her for three months to help her while she mended. One of the duties I adopted was the grocery shopping and cooking.
Now, my mom loves popcorn. Unfortunately, it wasn’t exactly a common food item where she was living at the time in Switzerland. Nonetheless, I decided to go to the local store to search for her desired munchy item.
Luckily, as I was perusing the aisles, I came across the one brand offered in the supermarket. I knew what it was because it was clearly labeled “American Style” popcorn and came conspicuously wrapped in a bright red and blue box. So, I made my purchase and headed back with my prize in hand.
When I got home, I decided to prepare the treat right away and eagerly pulled the popcorn bag out of it’s cellophane wrapper. I noticed that there were cooking directions in German on it. Then I noticed there were also directions in French, Italian and Spanish. I’m pretty impressed, but not altogether surprised. Afterall, I am in Europe. Switzerland alone has three official languages.
I lifted the trifold flap on the package; that’s when things really started getting surreal. There were instructions in Dutch, Russian, Arabic, Greek…I’m started thinking this is pretty funny. Our country’s politics may not be very well liked by the global community, but our snack foods seem to be doing quite well. Overall, I counted eleven different languages on that one bag of popcorn, including two I didn’t even recognize! Ironically, very last- and on the inside bottom of the bag- was English.
America may be considered a melting pot by some, but perhaps the world as a whole is just a big bowl of popcorn!