I had bagels and cream cheese for the first time in more than 11 years a week or so ago. My wife, Josie, found both at one of the Royal Subic stores at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone.
I don’t always spread cream cheese on bagels. Other types of spreads will work just as well. I prefer them with cream cheese but I don’t always have some on hand. I can sometimes eat them without anything at all on them, especially those other than “plain”.
The first time I ate bagels and cream cheese was on a plane, served as the breakfast snack. I was traveling from Jacksonville, North Carolina to Camp Pendleton, California. I changed planes in Raleigh, North Carolina and I caught a van from the San Diego airport to Camp Pendleton. The snack was on the Jacksonville to Raleigh leg of the journey.
I had never eaten a bagel before that day in 1990. The bagel was hard and the cream cheese was hard to spread. Nevertheless, I ate it and I liked it. After I returned home, I bought bagels and cream cheese at the local supermarket. Josie and both of our children liked them as much as I did.
I was a little disappointed on later flights. None of the meals included bagels. They’re so much more filling than toast (which is what I seemed to get a lot of).
It may sound silly, but I didn’t miss bagels until Josie showed me what she bought. I was surprised by my reaction. There are a lot of foodstuffs I miss. I just don’t remember them all.
Bagels are filling. For me, at least. A cup of coffee and two of them can replace any kind of breakfast meal I have regularly. Some people may want more, but not me. It has something to do with being sated by certain foods and that’s as far as I’ll go with that.
The local grocery stores don’t carry everything I’d like them to carry. Sometimes they run out of something popular and fail to restock it for months. We may never see bagels here again.
It’s like that with things we took for granted in the United States. Things like apple pie and pumpkin pie. A lot of things we like we have to make at home to enjoy. Josie and I were spoiled by the grocery stores in Phoenix – most Americans are spoiled in much the same way. Not in the Philippines.
There are dozens of bakeries in and around Olongapo City and at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone. There are so many things missing in every one of them, I wouldn’t know where to start. They bake cakes and bread and very little else. Josie and I were just discussing how one of the bakeries in Phoenix, if copied in Olongapo, would put the rest out of business.