So much has happened this past week that it's been hard to keep up with all the details. My next anecdote will be less LGO related and more MIT related. For my particular sublet, I ended up living with two other MIT alumni - one who is now there for grad school and another who is working in the area. We did not know each other while we were here even though all of us graduated undergrad in 2008; we met just through their listing for a sublet on Craigslist.
On Sunday (6/5) it was one of my roommate's birthdays and so the other '08 and I met her and some of her friends for Ethiopian/Eritrean food at Asmara restaurant in Cambridge. What's distinctive about Ethiopian food is that it is served on this thin, bubbly, quite sour bread and is eaten with your hands by pinching the bread around the meat or vegetables you are eating. This is a place where you definitely use your napkin!
I had Ethiopian food once before, and hadn't been too crazy about it. I went with some people to a place in Boston that took forever to get to and where the sour-ness of the bread overpowered the other flavors of what we were eating. Needless to say, I was not a fan. So, this past weekend, I had my reservations, but I thought I'd give it a second chance and that, at a minimum, meeting other people's friends and expanding my circle would be good.
Turns out some of this girl's friends live in Tang Hall where I'll be living during the fall AND that, upon a second try, I like Ethiopian food, at least from this place. The stews and vegetables and meat were spiced sort of like Indian food (Ethiopia is on the Eastern coast of Africa, right by the horn, so it makes sense that there would be some similarities) and the bread wasn't as overpowering as before. Overall we had both satisfying food and conversation. Dessert of ice cream birthday cake at Toscanini's afterwards definitely didn't hurt though!
I ended up getting home on Sunday a little later than I expected, but it was tasty and definitely worth it. I'm happy that I changed my attitude about this food that's pretty new to me and that I got to meet new people. LGO is great, but one of the things that I see as something I want to keep in the back of my mind is to build connections with the general MIT graduate community. Living in a dorm in the fall and talking more to this girl's friend is definitely a way to help me do that.