Christmas Bounty

Jan 5, 2013

Christmas and New Year’s at Concordia were both really great experiences. We decorated the station in little things just to make it appear more festive, but the main thing everyone reveled in was the FOOD. Oh, man, the food. Our station’s chef went to amazing lengths to make everybody feel like they might feel at home, and for me as an American at a foreign base, I got a little glimpse into what the traditions are like for French and Italian families. (Although every tradition is taken with a grain of salt, because sometimes I don’t know if something is done ‘because it is French’ or because we’re in Antarctica and everything is a little bit different here.) Christmas and New Year’s were both celebrated with the entire station of 50 people eating together at long tables (we usually just rush in and rush out at some point during meal times) and I tried all sorts of traditional spiced wines, liquors, and other things that each person brought as the famous drink from their hometown.

A few days after New Year’s, the station manager noticed that some of the ‘non-perishable’ food waaay in the back of our cabinets was a bit old (nothing to be concerned about; mostly expired Corn Flakes, etc.) and decreed that all food found that had expired before 2003 had to be thrown out. While this mostly meant sorting through cereal, coffee, and other dried goods, a friend and I at the station decided to sort through the massive pile of expired food that was piled in a large bin in front of the station and see if any particular gems could be found.

…now keep in mind that even though I have no complaints about the food at Concordia, it isn’t the same as being back home, and you do come to miss things that aren’t available at an Antarctic base…

Climbing into the bin of cereal boxes and sugar packets, I found a CASE of Bounty Bars. Oh yesssss! Sweet love of chocolate and coconut!! Someone must have brought the box years ago (it expired in 2001) and the coconut filling of these candy bars was very dried out, but this is ANTARCTICA and I haven’t seen anything like this in such a long time. I was so excited. This was my Christmas present.

So now I sit in my bunk with a bit of a stomach ache because I ate chocolate for the first time in months, and probably wayy too much of it. I still have most of the box left. So thank you, French/Italian scientist from more than a decade ago, who brought this with you and left it here for me to uncover 12 years later. This gift of expired chocolatey-goodness was amazing.

DSC_0943_NEF_shotwellThe women of Concordia (7 of us out of 55) posing with the station chef for his Christmas card.
I’m last on the right.

DSCN0725Merry Christmas!

DSCN0654French and Italian flags scattered around for some holiday patriotism

christmasHappy New Year from the bottom of the world!


Posted on 2012, in -Season 2: Life on the High Plateau, 2013 (01/05) Christmas Bounty. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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