Pt. 2 of my US trip story. I thought that it would be good to tell something about the purpose of the trip.
I haven’t mentioned here what I do in my life, apart from cooking vegan stuff. So maybe some of you will be surprised to hear that I’m a PhD student and I do some Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science. Nice combination, isn’t it? Thanks to my studies, I could have gone to USA. The main purpose of my trip was a conference on Random Structures and Algorithms in Atlanta. I spent there a wonderful week with great people from all over the world. I had a chance to visit Emory University Campus and see how does it look like to be an American student.
I learned that American campuses differ from the regular ‘American landscape’. Students are usually fit, many people run, many ride bikes. I was amazed by the number of people I saw running on the streets each day, and I don’t mean only Emory. There are so many runners everywhere! In my hometown (a not too big city in north-east Poland) every time I go running I see surprised looks, as if I was doing something odd. The situation is better in bigger cities such as Kraków or Poznań, but still I think that running is not our strength. I should write something more on that topic one day.
Apart from that, everywhere you can find recycle bins. It seems that Emory is a pro-ecological place.
Now it’s time to write something about food. As I mentioned in the previous post, I was afraid that I won’t find any vegan food. Fortunately, I survived and I feel good. The conference organizers provided breakfast and each day we had the same stuff – bagels and muffins. Bagels are quite popular in USA. They resemble Cracovian pretzels, but they are more ‘clayey’. I was a bit concerned that they might not be vegan, but when I checked the ingredients everything seemed fine. But I should point out that Americans tend to stuff food with vitamins and minerals. There is usually information about how much iron or vitamin A there is in the product and also recommended daily allowance, but I guess it’s not to inform you how much you must get but what amount you shouldn’t exceed. At least I got such an impression.
After large breakfast came the lunch. Usually I chose the campus cafeteria, where, aside from pizza, burgers, Mexican food, ice cream, smoothie, cookies and other fast foods, you could get a lot of vegetables. Because it was extremely hot then, I usually ate different salads. The system is easy – you choose the size of a plate or container, load it with food and then pay for it. The price depends on size and kind of food. And there is a lot of different things to choose: few kinds of salads, tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, fresh peas, kidney beans, chickpeas, broccoli, croutons, many dressings, fruit salad and usually one other salad, for example with pasta and olives. A perfect summer lunch. They also served some vegetarian dishes like tofu in spicy sauce. I also tried sushi with brown rice.
And here are some examples:
- High protein chocolate bar with almonds
- Bruschetta with white beans dip
- Sushi with brwon rice
- Avocado salad
- Fruit salad
- Bruschetta with mushrooms
- Salad mix 1
- Salad mix 2
We usually had dinner in the city. Once I had a chance to try tree kinds of hummus with homemade pita. I guess hummus is very popular in USA because you can get it almost everywhere – in restaurants and supermarkets. I’m so jealous!
The conference organizers also threw a party where there were other delicious vegan goodies. Unfortunately, I was unable to make photos all the time, so I can’t show you many delicious things I had.