Oh, it was good. Just what I needed. I'd been craving it for days. Just that little bit...it took the edge right off. I see why people get addicted to this stuff - because it's...well...addictive.
Back home I never do Coke. I seldom do soft drinks of any kind. There's always healthier options: iced tea, ice water, fresh juice, maybe some wine. And when I do get the urge, desire, craving for something, it's Dr Pepper - something that's in abundance in the Midwest.
Coke has a special place in my heart. My sister has always loved the stuff, but it never did much for me...until I started traveling outside the United States. Coke is EVERYWHERE!
I remember my trip to China in 2006 - it was my first night there, and I was having dinner with my cousin and her friends at a hot pot restaurant. I was eating stuff that to this day I'm still unable to identify. For those of you that know me well, you know that's a pretty big thing. I'm not known as a culinary adventurer.
As the night went on, the desire to wash things down with something cool, tasty, and familiar was overwhelming. To my eventual detriment, they offered tall bottles of warm Coke. Well, at least it was familiar. I drank four of them.
Oh, I should have mentioned that up to that point I hadn't had a soft drink for about four years. It was just something I decided I could do without, so I did.
I won't recount how I spent most of the next day and a half in the bathroom, in my Chinese hotel room. I'll just say that my body didn't react well to the flood of sweet, carmel-colored liquid.
Later that same trip I learned something else - On the flight from Chengdu to Lhasa, Tibet, never drink carbonated beverages. I believe I had two cans of yes, Coke. We landed, and was at an elevation of 12,000 feet above sea level. Very high, no air. All those little carbonation bubbles just went crazy, and expanded all over the place.
There was a rush to the bathroom. Thankfully, a 'western style' toilet was available, instead of the more common 'squat toilet.' Never got the hang of those. I'll sit down anyday.
When I worked on the ice the one thing I always looked forward to when I got off was the first meal back in the 'real' world. It was always a Double Whopper Value Meal at Burger King, on Columbo Street, in Christchurch. It tasted like America. Of course, it was accompanied with Coca-Cola, and Coke tastes like Home.
Same thing traveling through Australia. Coke is king.
And now I'm in Iraq. Sure, they sell Dr Pepper in the PX, but I don't love soft drinks enough to keep any in my room. So, on my day-off I usually eat lunch at our Food Court. Doesn't matter which vendor I choose, they all offer Coke to go along with their meals.
So, I indulge.
I did some Coke today, and I'm feeling pretty good right now...
P.S. Okay, I bought ONE can of Dr Pepper to have later. It's in my freezer right now. I like it cold...