The Spiciest Thing

|Author: Sandra|

I’ve probably had more spicy food here in India than I have my whole life combined.

Whether it’s a flaming hot pepper that snuck onto my UTC plate, or a meal our SJC friends ordered for us that they insist isn’t spicy, it always seems to creep up on me. My new catchphrase here has become “Is this spicy?” and Mike and Lorena have decided that there’s a spicy scale, and then there’s “Sandra’s Spicy Scale.” I’ve been told that spice literally latches onto the pain receptors in your mouth, so I’d like to argue that it’s not my fault, but some people can clearly handle it better than me.

Yet spice isn’t so different from our GCIL project. Everyone comes with different experiences, different tolerances, and different backgrounds. When we experience failure, for some it’s only a mild discomfort, and for others it burns like your face on fire. But once it happens, there’s nothing you can do to make the pain stop. You might try drinking water or milk or sticking your tongue outside a tuktuk until it cools down, but nothing heals like time. There’s nothing you can do but sit through and endure it. Sometimes it may seem like it will never end, but we know it’s only temporary. And although you might not notice it at the time, with each experience our tolerance grows. We won’t realize until we go home, and we try something we expect will hurt, but are surprised by how it doesn’t. We’ve learned to be resilient, and the failures we may later encounter will be much easier to swallow.

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