Saturday, June 23, 2012

What happened to the marshmallows in Lucky Charms?*

Did you ever get a hankering for some cereal after not eating cereal in forever? What do you do? Well, I'm guessing you go to the grocery store and buy some cereal and have a bowl. Then you either eat the entire box within a few days or leave it to get stale on top of your refrigerator and eventually throw it away. These are the types of things we take for granted in our every day lives--being able to go out and buy Lucky Charms when the mood strikes us. And then throwing the entire box away after eating one bowl.

So about three weeks ago, I had an incredible hankering for some Honey Nut Cheerios and Lucky Charms. The cereal is available here, but it's like $7 a box which is just absurd. Mr. ATK would never let me spend that much on a box of cereal, and I wouldn't really want to, especially when you can purchase it elsewhere for cheaper. And that elsewhere happens to be On amazon the cereal is considerably cheaper, however you have to purchase it in bulk. So after having a craving for cereal three weeks ago, Mr. ATK and I have finally received three boxes of Honey Nut Cheerios and a 46 ounce box of Lucky Charms. Lesson learned: Living in India doesn't make impulse cereal buying impossible, it's just when you finally get your cereal a month has passed, the impulse is gone and now you have 7 pounds of cereal. 

But I do not regret our cereal purchase. In fact, I had a delicious bowl of Lucky Charms for breakfast this morning for the first time in years. It was wonderful. But what the hell happened to the marshmallows in Lucky Charms?! Do you remember when they used to have the red balloons, yellow diamond, green clover, purple horseshoe? Let me refresh your memory:

Note the marshmallows are like actual shapes (more or less). I can tell that its an orange star or whatever.

So what the eff happened between between 1985 and now? While I enjoyed my bowl of delicious Lucky Charms, I could not tell what the marshmallows were supposed to be. I'm not expecting them to look like they do in the commercial any more than I expect a Quarter Pounder with Cheese I buy from the McDonald's drive-thru to look like the Quarter Pounder they show on the McDonald's commercials. But at least I can tell that the little hockey puck-esque sandwich with the crooked piece of cheese is a cheeseburger. I don't know what the marshmallows are any more. The Purple horseshoe still looks like a horseshoe, more or less. And the red balloon is a round object, so I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt on that one. But the rest of them? What the hell? From what I can make out there is some sort of green square with a dark green "x" on it. Not exactly the green clover from days of yore. And then there seem to be a bunch of white marshmallows with some sort of colored stripe on them. What are those? Is it a volcano? With colorful lava? It's vaguely shaped like a triangle.  

You know what makes this all extra sad? I remember in college haughtily telling a friend at the dining hall one night that the bowl of Lucky Charms he was enjoying for dinner was clearly off brand because Lucky Charms had purple horseshoes, blue moons, yellow diamonds, etc. and the slop he was eating had random shit like green squares with dark green 'x'es and white thingys with weirdo color stripes on them. Only now as I stared at my bowl of Lucky Charms this morning did I realize that my friend was not eating off-brand Lucky Charms all those years ago. So, Kyung, I apologize for making fun of the cereal you were eating for dinner that night back in 1999. 

Also, apparently Lucky Charms changed their marshmallow press at least 13 years ago. Who knew? 

*Warning: This blog has nothing to do with India. Don't read it unless you are interested in the minute details of breakfast cereals. Wait? What? You already read the whole thing? Well, I put this asterisk next to the title for a reason. It's always important to check the footnotes.

Saturday, June 16, 2012


Hi everyone!

First off, let me just ease your worried minds.

I am fine.

Having not posted in more than a month, I imagine you were all very concerned. "Did she get hurt? Is she sick?" you asked yourselves. Perhaps you even thought, "Gosh, I hope she hasn't died." I appreciate the concern and I'm sorry I've left you for so long with no word. In my defense, it's been a busy month. I've been working, and we got all our household effects, so I've also been playing Grand Theft Auto IV. So if you want someone to blame for the lack of blog posts, look no further than the curs at Rockstar Games.

Life has been exciting and there are a lot of things I could write about. Like the time I met the Secretary of State, for example.*

But that would just be bragging and no one likes a braggart.

So I think I'll just focus on my trip with Mr. ATK to Kathmandu, Nepal. (Insert obligatory Bob Segar reference here.)

Over Memorial Day weekend, Mr. ATK and I took our first vacation together as a married couple to Kathmandu. We still haven't seen anything in India, or much of Delhi, but we thought we'd get the heck out of Dodge. Mainly airfare was super cheap and Kathmandu sounds like an awesome place to go (spoiler alert: it totally is) and it has consistently been over 110 degrees, so away we went.

But before I talk about Nepal, I must first share some of the oddities of traveling through Indian airports. Well, the main one is that you can't even get into the airport without a ticket. Do you have a sibling and/or child going off to some far flung land with a ton of luggage? Well, you better hope they can find a cart, because you ain't going in there to bid him/her adieu.** We were stuck behind a British chick with, like, four suitcases, but the guard wouldn't let her into the airport because I guess he didn't like the ticket she was presenting. And through no fault of our own, we were running late so we were subtly trying to flash our tickets and passports. Eventually the British lady was told to go elsewhere to deal with her ticket problems and we were allowed entrance to the airport.

The next interesting difference is that security is sex segregated. There is a different line for women and men. (I believe I mentioned this before here.) It's because after the metal detector, everyone gets a pat down. Sometimes it's pretty half-hearted (like at the Hyatt), but at the airport, they aren't playin' around (nor should they.) So Mr. ATK and I go stand in our separate lines. Nine times out of ten, the women's line goes much faster. As I was waiting for Mr. ATK to finish I watched as the security guys stripped this guy of pretty much everything he had brought in the plastic shopping bags that he was using as his carry-on luggage confiscated.   To be fair, his "luggage" was filled orange juice and mosquito repellent, neither of which was in the required 1 oz. bottles and packed in a quart-sized Ziploc bag. He clearly was unaware of the "no liquids" policy or had just gone grocery shopping.  Or both.

After finally getting through security, we had a little time to stop by the airport food court. I decided on McDonald's while Mr. ATK decided on a fried chicken chain that I can only assume is the Indian equivalent of KFC. Hilariously, when Mr. ATK went up to the counter to order his chicken combo meal, he was informed that they did not have any chicken. No chicken. At a chicken restaurant. Incredulously he asked, "You don't have chicken? What do you have?" "French fries," was the reply. So he came over to McDonald's, which, apart from the cheery greeting of "We don't take credit cards" actually had all of the food items on its menu available for purchase.

So then we finally got on a plane and went to Nepal. Kathmandu was very cool. It's kind of like what I imagined India to be... you know, before I actually got to India. Saw a fair amount of cows blocking traffic. Monkeys. Temples. Interestingly, there are no traffic lights in Kathmandu. I'm not even exaggerating. I think we saw one. (It's a city of well over a million people, in case you were wondering.) They seriously have police officers standing in the middle of intersections directing rickshaws, auto-rickshaws, scooters and cars. And cows. But the cows don't seem to take direction all that well.  At first I thought it was some sort of Nepalese jobs initiative, but after conferring on the matter Mr. ATK and I decided that it was probably due to electrical load shedding which leaves parts of Kathmandu without power for (scheduled) hours on end. Police officers are always there. Except when they are not. But they don't require electricity to function, so they are probably a more stable source of traffic guidance than lights would be.

We stayed at a nice little boutique hotel in Thamel, which is a tourist heavy shopping area.We also ended up hiring a taxi driver named Raju to take us to all the cool stuff, which he did.  My camera died on the second day though so pictures are limited. Mr. ATK was also robbed by a monkey.

More stuff happened, but I'm kinda tired and don't feel like writing more. So instead of writing, I am just going to post the following video of some people I don't know's vacation set to the music stylings of Michigan's own Mr. Robert Segar. Basically all the stuff you see in the video--we did and/or saw that.  Except the biking.

*By "met the Secretary of State" I meant "photobombed a picture of the Secretary of State with a bunch of children."

**To be fair to IGI Airport (the international airport in Delhi) supplies baggage carts for free. As do many other airports that are not in the US.