Study Abroad Tales

“What’s Filter Coffee?” And Other Horror Stories 0.7

Healthful Livin’

I’ve coined a new term – “Foreigner 15.” I think it’s edgy and self-explanatory, you think it’s as original as a TV dad cringing at his baby’s poopy diaper for laughs. We all have our opinions.

I could no longer ignore how tight my shirt felt. Somewhere down the line I became better at coping with the serving sizes, and at this point my body composition was 90% cheese.

I was also broke. I fell in love with the idea that $7 could get me a meal and after 50 meals, I realized “buy” rhymes with “cry” for a reason.

How did I get here? I was full of dreams. I was going to be the friend at the party constantly talking about a “good run.” Instead, I was still putting “a good run” in quotation marks and watching Friends for the 298th time. (Yes, that’s how many times Ross and Rachel did it as of season 5.)

It was time to reform. And if you’re lost in your ways, feel free to consult this guide I put together.


1. Don’t be intimidated by gym equipment. It can smell fear. Walk towards the machines with a confidence that makes everyone think you’ve used these before. In fact, your confidence must leave them in awe. They’re all watching and judging. After you leave, they will huddle and talk about how terrible you are.

2. Adjust weights. Sit on the little seat. Or are you supposed to lie on it? Your confidence is fading. Try another machine. Someone else will come to this one in the meantime—you can spy on them and learn that way.

3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 with every machine until you give up and head to the treadmill. It’s the first time you’ve looked at the treadmill with anything resembling happiness.

4. Watch your happiness turn to dread as you realize you must eventually run on this.

5. After an hour of walking, start jogging. Within ten seconds you will feel a sharp pain in your side. Slow down. Whoa – the ‘cool down’ button is right next to the stop button, isn’t it?

6. Get off the treadmill. You will feel the ground moving underneath your feet for a few minutes. It’s called inertia (don’t correct me) and helps you walk faster since you still have some momentum left. Take advantage of this and walk quickly out of the gym, where people were running way before you came in and are showing no sign of stopping anytime soon.

Eating healthy

1. Pick a grocery store. Not the one that sells fifty varieties of sugar cereal, the other one. The one that sells things like dark cacao beans mixed with quinoa dipped in green stuff (it’s a filling snack if you manage to hold it down).

2. Pick up strawberries. Pick up lettuce. Pick up tomatoes. Don’t pick up M&Ms Mega (which look like the regular M&Ms ate a can of Popeye’s spinach). Remember, your cart should look more like a garden and less like a six year old’s dream lunchbox.

3. Notice how people are looking closely at vegetables, sometimes turning them around in their hands before buying them? It’s a ritual—they’re staring for a long enough time to establish an emotional connection before making the actual purchase. You should do that too.

4. You may wonder how you’re going to combine strawberries and lettuce. People will tell you it’s a weird combination, but remember this: they also think spinach, bananas, and peanut butter can share a blender. Who are they to talk?

5. Take pictures of this health and goodness. Share. (Tip: Anything looks delicious in a mason jar.)

6. Mix the strawberry and lettuce. Then pick them apart and eat separately.

7. How will fruit and leaves fill you? Go back to Chipotle and buy yourself a real meal.


There’s only so much deodorant you can buy, okay?

1. If this is your first time doing your own laundry, you’re in for a surprise. You don’t throw your sweaty t-shirt on a chair and come back an hour later to find it washed and ironed. From now on, washers and driers will eat your quarters and give you clean and “dry” clothes in return.

2. Wait, none of that was an actual instruction. I’m so sorry. Please do your laundry. I’d explain how, but I’m afraid I’ll get sued for copying what’s written on the washer.

3. If you condense your bank account into quarters and feed it into the drier, you will have warm and dry clothes. Smell them. Roll in them. Let ‘em pile up. Wear from pile.

4. If you’re the ambitious kind, you’ll probably want to iron your clothes too. Wrestle with your shirt till it lies flat on the table for smooth ironing. It’s harder than you think. Sleeves get in the way, buttons break the flow and make your life as miserable as humanly possible, and one little fold can ruin everything.

5. If you can get through these obstacles, your shirt will tell your story. If you don’t, the burn marks on your arms will tell whatever heroic story you want. It’s a win-win.


3 thoughts on ““What’s Filter Coffee?” And Other Horror Stories 0.7

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