VOLUME 28 NO. 12 | MARCH 14 - MARCH 20, 2009


Yogurt schmogurt

Last updated 3-12-09 at 1:58 p.m.
Wayne Chan, humor writer

By Wayne Chan
Northwest Asian Weekly

In a few days, I will be turning 45. That’s more than 16,400 days that I have been on this earth. It’s funny because I don’t feel a day over 10,000.

I don’t feel all that much different than when I was 25 years old. Oh, sure, I’ve put on a few pounds. My knees ache when I play tennis or go for a run. But for the most part, I still have the same interests, do the same things, and behave pretty much the same way as I did before.
But the signs of my passing years are all around me. You don’t have to look far.

The other day, a friend of mine took me to a frozen yogurt shop, which, on this Friday night, was packed with mostly teens and 20-year-olds. It was a self-serve yogurt store, and as I walked in, I immediately noticed the 10 machines lined up against the wall, each serving two flavors of yogurt, mostly exotic flavors with names like “Taro Tart” and “Asian Peach.”

Next to the machines were containers filled with various toppings — some standards (peanut sprinkles, gummy bears) but many you don’t usually think of as toppings (mango slices, sweet red bean, boba).

Image by Stacy Nguyen

My friend, who is several years younger than I am, started explaining the yogurt phenomenon to me. “This is a huge craze right now. This latest yogurt boom started in Korea, and now it’s all the rage here. There are kids lined up out the door, even around midnight,” he said.

The first sign of my advancing years was my disbelief that anyone would stand in line to get frozen yogurt.

“It’s just frozen yogurt,” I said.

“You’ve got to try it!” he said.

So, I got in line with everyone else, with nearly 20 people ahead of me, all craning their necks to see when they get to fill their cups with some fruity concoction.

The second sign of my advancing years came as I filled up my cup and add my toppings. I got to the machine serving chocolate and filled my cup to the top. Then I moved over to the toppings and proceeded to top my cho-colate yogurt with chocolate sprinkles.

As I sat down with my chocolate yogurt with chocolate sprinkles, I took a quick bite in an attempt to understand the allure of what seems to be just an ordinary cup of frozen yogurt.

“I don’t get it. It’s just frozen yogurt,” I said, as I scooped another spoonful into my mouth.

My friend, who suddenly appeared completely aghast by my reaction, began to berate me for my reaction. I don’t remember what he said word for word, but it went something like this:

“Well, for heaven’s sake, obviously you don’t get it! Who comes to a yogurt place that has 20 flavors of yogurt and 200 different toppings and ends up filling their cup with one flavor and one topping of the same flavor? You’re completely clueless! You’ve got a cup of chocolate yogurt with chocolate sprinkles. Look at my cup. I’ve got 12 yogurt flavors including mango passion fruit tart, ruby red grapefruit with jalapenos, kiwi pineapple swirl, and Australian papaya infused with blood orange juice and yak meat extract.”

“Would it make you feel any better if I added some chocolate syrup to my cup?” I asked.

Of course, when I was growing up, most stores only had three flavors of ice cream — chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry. And yet, somehow, I turned out OK, despite being deprived of creamy mochi-granola-jelly-bean yogurt.

So, yes, maybe I’m getting older. But as far as I know, chocolate never really goes out of style. (end)

Wayne Chan can be reached at info@nwasianweekly.com.

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