February 7th

This morning I was outside at about 7:30, letting my dog go to the bathroom. He’s sort of a crazy guy and gets really upset when strangers come over. All of the sudden, after he was done with his business and doing his usual sniffing around, my gate opened. It was the OAM, who is actually, an OAW, Old Asian Woman! I had never really seen her up close so I never realized. 

Of course my dog went nuts and I was terrified that he was going to attack her. I was also nervous to be coming face to face with my snack giver, as I liked the mystery of it all.

Well, mystery solved. I got my dog inside, nobody got hurt…and it turns out she has not been leaving me thank you presents for the fruit she takes, she has been leaving offerings for the Buddha statue I have in my garden.

She came in, ignored my dog and walked right to my table, put out the food, and went to the corner and started praying to the Buddha. I honestly never saw that coming, and I was amazed. 

She sort of talked to me, but I had a hard time understanding a lot of what she said. She was very polite and even blew a kiss at me. Now that I understand what she is doing, I will no longer be posting about her. I am glad that she finds happiness in my garden and I hope she continues to do so. I also hope that my dog is never outside to bother her again.

So this is the end of my Bin Bin Cracker Love. I do still love Bin Bin Crackers, but I know that I can buy them at 99 Ranch when I have a craving!

January 3rd

In December I left avocados for the OAM, fresh from my friend’s avocado tree. He never showed. I left them out for well over a week, they finally went bad and I threw them away.

image

I was sad. I figured he had broken up with me and our snack affair was over. Then, he showed up on January 3rd! This is not his usual pattern. Maybe he is trying to throw me off. Or maybe December was just a busy month for him. Whatever the reason, I am glad to have him back in my life!

This month he left a few repeat snacks and two new things.

Unif Tung-I Instant Bean Vermicelli Chinese Spices Tong Tsai Flavor - He left me this in the past. I enjoyed it, and I am looking forward to eating it again!

Unif Tung-I Instant Rice Noodles Chinese Onion Flavor - I really liked the texture of the rice noodles. This was super oniony, it actually made my whole house smell like onions. It wasn’t bad, I don’t think I would go out of my way and buy it, but if it appears on my patio again, I will eat it :)

White Rabbit Creamy Candy - My boyfriend will be happy to have these in the house again!

Walnut & Date Candy - Not a fan.

Crisp Broad Bean - Hm. I am undecided on these. When you first put them in your mouth, you are hit with a strong taste of salt and some sort of spice, I thought that is tasted really good. The texture is hard, like a nut. Very crispy. But then the more you chew, the flavor disappears and they disintegrate in a weird way and you are left with a funky paste in your mouth. I actually had to drink water after eating these to get the grainy paste out of my mouth. Okay, now that I wrote this out, I decided I am not a fan, lol. 

Not sure if I will leave him anything next month. He didn’t come on schedule this month, so I am not sure when he will show again. Plus, he only really seems to like the apples…we’ll see.

November 8th

As expected, my apple tree is bare, so leaving the OAM apples was out of the question this month…

But I do have a guava and a lemon tree, so I picked the one guava I had and a lemon for him. I also got him some peanut butter pretzels, fruit snacks, and lentil snaps. I left them out and two days later, he arrived!

He didn’t take anything! I thought he would at least take the fruit, but he didn’t :( I really want to give back to him but I am not sure what to leave him!

He did leave me snacks though.

10 packets of Peanut M&M’s - apparently he had a lot of leftover Halloween candy!

Seaweed Sachima Cookie - He left these last month, and they are not my cup of tea.

Tomato Vegetable Ramen - What?? Tomato ramen? I tried it. Very odd…it smells exactly like Campbell’s tomato soup and tastes somewhat like it. It comes with a packet of carrots, corn, and something green. Not bad, I wouldn’t mind eating this again.

What should I leave him in December? I would really like to be able to give him something in return. 

October 11th snacks

This morning I woke up to more snacks! Now that he has come four times, I have figured out his pattern, and I intend on leaving him another offering next month. 

Bin Bin Crackers - Yay! Love them!

Date & Walnut Candies - :(

Green Onion Pancake - This this is awesome! I have had these before at a Chinese place in Anaheim that I like, Mas Islamic Chinese Restaurant, and I had no idea you could buy them pre-made! I opened the package and it is one very large pancake. I took a tiny piece off and tried it, loved it! I put it in the fridge and I intend on serving it with something for dinner next week.

Seaweed Sachima Cookie - This is the same thing as the sesame snacks I didn’t like last month, but I know I needed to try them. I don’t like seaweed, so I was really not expecting to like these. Surprisingly, the flavor was better than the sesame one, but I still don’t like it. The texture just throws me off, and they are actually pretty bland. Maybe with some sort of seasoning on them they would be better, but i’m not willing to find out.

Unfortunately, the apple tree he likes no longer has apples, and I imagine by the end of next month it won’t even have leaves. I need to figure out what to leave for him in November since apples are no longer an option!

September 13th snacks

Five days after I put the apples out, he returned! He took about half of the apples, I hope he enjoyed them!

This time he left me more White Rabbit Creamy Candy and more of those gross date and walnut candies.

He also left some sort of sesame snacks that I can only best compare to rice crispy treats….sort of. I didn’t enjoy these. They are huge, thick squares of…some sort of rice cracker things…they have an odd texture and I really didn’t care for the flavor. My boyfriend said he liked them. Then he changed his mind and said he did not. 

September 9th, my offering

image

Not sure if he would return, but kind of hoping he would, I decided to pick as many little apples as I could from the tree he likes and leave them for him. So on September 9th I left him a bag of probably 2 or 3 pounds of apples, along with a note letting him know he could have them.

The apples remained on my patio night after night and I was worried the apples would go bad. 

August 16th snacks

I was surprised to find snacks on my patio a little over one month later! This time the loot was much bigger, and I really liked everything, except those date & walnut candies.

Peanut M&M’s - who doesn’t like those!?

Guava Candy - This is a HUGE bag. I have given some away to friends and we still have a bunch. They are tiny hard candies that have a wonderful flavor, but pretty sour. I don’t do sour, so unfortunately, I don’t eat these. 

Bin Bin Crackers - LOVE these! They are crunchy, sort of greasy, salty, and a little sweet. Some of the weirdest things I have ever eaten, but I really enjoy them!

Unif Tung-I Instant Bean Vermicelli Chinese Spices Tong Tsai Flavor - I received two packages of this. I like ramen, so I was excited to try it. At first taste I thought it was really weird. It was sort of spicy but really salty and the texture of the noodles were weird to me. But it grew on me. I actually really like Bean Vermicelli now and I buy plain packages of it to use in stir frys and soups. 

July 11th snacks

After finding the snacks on my patio, I promptly decided I would not eat them. A stranger leaving food at my house? It could be poisoned! But after talking to some people I decided he probably was not trying to kill me, he was just being nice since he steals my fruit. Plus all the packages were unopened…so I dug in.

The package on the left is date and walnut candy. Not being a fan of dates nor walnuts, I was not excited about trying it. After trying it, I was not still not excited. They are chewy, almost gummy, and they tasted like what I assume dirt or dust would taste like. Sorry, OAM (old Asian man) but these are not for me. Unfortunately, he leaves them for me every month now. Maybe I should start leaving them for him so he will get the hint.

The package in the middle is White Rabbit Creamy Candy. These aren’t bad. They remind me of sweet milk. They have a rice paper wrapping that you can eat, and they are incredibly chewy, like you chew one piece for ten minutes! My boyfriend likes these more than I do, I think they are okay to have once in awhile. We still have some of these.

The last package is some sort of trail mix, Broad Bean (Spicy). It was ok! Really salty. We ate a little of this and eventually tossed it. 

July 11, 2013

For a couple of years I have known that an old Asian man comes into my patio to steal fruit. I had caught him twice, and each time I got the impression he did not speak English, as he would say he was sorry and exit my patio. I would see him around the neighborhood from time to time, slowly shuffling down the sidewalk, or squatting on a corner, smoking a cigarette. He would wave to me, I don’t know if he realized I was the person he was stealing from or not. 

On July 11, 2013, he took our relationship to a new level. My boyfriend and I were in bed, early, maybe 5:30. One of our dogs started barking like crazy. My boyfriend went downstairs to check it out, he came back and reported nothing was down there. The dog started up again. I got out of bed and looked out our window to see the man standing outside my patio ripping flowers off my tree and shoving them into his pocket. 

Realizing it was just him, I went back to bed and told the dog to calm down. A couple hours later we got up for the day. Came downstairs, made my coffee, opened the door to let the dogs out. On my patio were bags of candy. At first I was super confused and then creeped out. I inspected the candy and realized it was all Asian candy, and I came to the conclusion that the man had left it there.

My boyfriend thought maybe he had sat down to eat it and when he heard the dog barking he left and accidentally forgot the candy. I figured that was a possibility, but as the months have gone on, I now know that we have a secret snack exchange that occurs once a month.