'; Leane Ickes | Flekke Glocal
18 year old person from a middle-of-nowhere town called Kota Kinabalu, located 4°N of the equator on the island of Borneo, which is part of the Federation of Malaysia. Currently studying at UWC RCN and dreaming of making a change in the world through electrical and environmental innovation.
My challenge
Attempt to be vegetarian for the first 15 days and vegan for the remaining days.

Day 10: Kayaks and Salad

Man, would you believe that view? I most certainly can’t, and I was the one who took it! Norway is pretty beautiful -when it’s not raining!-

 

9 days in and I’m still going strong! I made my more pasta and this time I added some basilico sauce. It tasted really good, and if you gave it to me any other day I would not have even noticed there was no meat! It is quite interesting to see how easily we can go without something we once thought was necessary. I used to think I would not have enough energy without meat, yet here I am. Kayaking and all. 

I am nervous for the upcoming second half of my challenge (veganism), but also kind of excited! I’m curious to know how much more challenging it will be compared to vegetarianism. I’m super excited and I will update you with more news!!

Day 8: Eating Rudolph?!?!!?

So on Sunday, guess what they served at dinner? Yeap – Reindeer!! Now I know I come from a culture where we eat frogs, snakes and bats, but they never have Christmas songs related to them! Seeing that yellow sticky note next to the gigantic vat of meat was enough to make me quite satisfied with my desicion to go vegetarian. I could just imagine a red-nosed reindeer somewhere out in the Norwegian woods, deciding innocently one day to wander out for some food, unknowingly trotting right into the path of the ferocious RCN-kantina hunter, and realising in his last moments of red-nosedness that he was soon to be gouged up by some hungry teenagers. I can almost see the tears the poor reindeer cried in the dish.

 

In any case, I think that traumatic experience of imagination gone wild at dinner made me quite determined to pursue on with my endeavor. I am still doing well, yesterday I had potatoes and brocolli, and today’s menu is veggie sausages, which I have yet to taste! 

 

Interestingly, I told my mother about this challenge and the first thing she did was joke about it. Understandably, I definitely am not the type of person who goes vegetarian or vegan like, ever. I took up this challenge because it was something I’ve never done or even thought about doing before, and that’s also a kind of testiment to why I applied to UWC. I wanted to get out of my comfort zone and experience life from another perspective. Back home, everyone is very content in our little bubble of a town. Everyone pretty much knows everyone, everyone goes to the same places to eat, same places to shop, same school, and everyone has similar ideas. This strong sense of community makes it very hard for people to break out of it, or accept something that is different. For example, I was in a cafe back home one day, and this European backpacker walked in. He looked at the menu and ordered something like a waffle. He then proceeded to tell the waitress that he was vegan. The waitress had not heard of veganism before and she asked him what that meant. The dude explained that he did not want butter, milk, eggs or meat. The girl looked at him, blinking, and said, “well if you don’t want all that, how about I just give you an empty plate?”. The backpacker just laughed and said nevermind. He ended up having tea. 

 

My point here is, it’s hard to break out of social norms, or generally be different from the people around you. Taking this challenge, I’ve been lucky enough to be surrounded by people who are supportive and encouraging. If I were to have taken it up back home, I would have struggled a lot more because of the sheer difficulty to find vegetarian food, much less vegan food. The stigma surrounding such “hippie” behaviour is so strong that a lot of people are discouraged from doing things like this. I’m looking forward to the end of this challenge and finding out whether I will continue to be vegetarian/vegan and if I do, how I plan on carrying it out back home. 

 

So, it has been an interesting few days, and I will try and write again tomorrow!! See you then!

Day 6: The First Week

I feel like avoiding procrastination would have been a better challenge for me, with this post being my first ever. Whoops. Sincere apologies my dear friends!

In any case, it has been almost a week of being vegetarian! So far it’s been pretty easy, I’ve realised how easy it actually is to just say no to meat, and how I don’t feel that upset about it either! Here’s what I ate for dinner every day for the past week (I forgot to note down what I had for lunch):

·       Tuesday: Veggie burgers (DELICIOUS)

·       Wednesday: Veggie omelette (no no for future vegan days)

·       Thursday: SOUP!!!!!

·       Friday: Potatoes (they had chickpea stew but yuck so I had plain potatoes, which weren’t actually that bad)

·       Saturday: Spring rolls

·       And today for lunch I had Fried Potatoes and salad!

I feel like it’s been pretty easy-going the last week, it almost feels as if I’ve always been a vegetarian. Meat? What’s that? Obviously I am lucky enough to be in a community where being vegetarian is relatively accepted, and there is yummy food available. I think I would have been faced with a bigger challenge back home, where meat is life. Of course, every now and then Kantina food is disappointing, but that just gives me an excuse to be innovative and cook something up myself! Take yesterday (Saturday) for example; they served rice porridge, which in my opinion is not nice at all (I don’t get Scandinavia), so I just stole some salad from the Salad Bar, put it in my container, brought it back to my house and cooked some pasta of my own! Simple, yet so satisfying. It’s interesting how taking up one challenge can lead to doing other things you wouldn’t normally do.

In a nutshell, I believe it has been a good week, and am looking forward to what else will come up in the following week. I will try and keep you updated here everyday <–(setting more challenges for myself amirite). So, here’s to another week of vegetarianism and the potential veganism!

Cheers,

Leane