An Irish proverb goes: Three things cannot be taught: Generosity, poetry and a singing voice. I agree — starlets who’ve taken voice lessons for years demonstrate the truth in that last one everyday — but if I were asked about the things that it seems cannot be taught to me, these essential skills would top the list:
1. Cook without a recipe
How I envy those who can cook from memory or by invention. Cooking does not come naturally to me. My interest in it started only four years ago and even now, I cook irregularly. So even with the simplest recipes, when I cook it’s always a major ‘production number’ that I need to prepare for.
When I want to try a recipe, I write it in shorthand with my own highly-detailed ‘Instructions to Self’. I list everything I need: from special ingredients (written in red ink) to the most common utensils. These notes are as essential to my cooking as my knife — I can’t start unless they’re on the kitchen counter ready for me to refer to after each step. This is true even when I’ve prepared a dish several times.
The Mr. is tired of picking me up from work everyday so he keeps hounding me to learn how to drive. When we bought another car last Christmas, he said it was mainly for my use. I realized I had to get serious about driving lessons and vowed (half-heartedly) that by June, I’d be driving to the neighborhood bakery. Oh, the glamour!
It’s already August and I still don’t know where the clutch is. This means I’m already off my timetable: one year to get to the bank near the main road, 2 years to the supermarket at the end of that main road, and 5 years to EDSA.
So why can’t I learn? The mere thought of city driving paralyzes me. The streets of Metro Manila are filled with bumper cars masquerading as jeepneys & buses and avoiding road bullies is the only way to get to your destination in one piece. I can’t handle the
I once tried driving my brother’s SUV in an otherwise empty backroad in our hometown.
In less than 10 minutes, I went beyond the speed limit, almost hit some chicken at the side of the road and executed a left turn that crushed underwheel some palay (unmilled rice) being dried out on a banig.
The look on the farmer’s face as I apologized made me swear off the steering wheel forever.
3. Use chopsticks
I can eat prawns neatly with a fork and spoon, munch on bird’s eye chili with just a hint of moisture in my eyes, and eat a whole balut without queasiness. But those slender pieces of wood always stop me in my tracks.
Dad tried to teach us how to wield chopsticks but all I ever got from those lessons is how to elegantly poke the marrow out of bones in pork nilaga and beef bulalo.
There’s a standing offer from the Mr., who can use chopsticks to eat fluffy rice (I am in awe) to teach me how to do the same. I should take him up on it, now that my hands are maybe only 10 years away from being arthritic and my inability has become a source of embarrassment when I am out with friends at a nice Asian restaurant.
I think I’ll start tomorrow. 😉
What’s on your need-to-learn list?
Update: Hi, everyone! Thank you so much for clicking on here and reading this post. EXTRA thanks to everyone who clicked Like, commented, subscribed, linked back and reblogged. I really appreciate your taking the time. I just wrote a post about the super-highs and the back-to-reality, haha, moments of being on Freshly Pressed. If you have time, it’s here. Thanks again!