Ok, I haven't flung a single plate of mashed potatoes in anyone's face (which is really a shame!) but I do definitely have a full-blown war on my hands.
First off, I really like my host family this semester, I do. They've been great to me, and we mostly get along smashingly.
But the one thing that is increasingly driving me to desperate measures is the constant pushing to eat more, more, more! My poor stomach just cannot handle it!
For example, I have this battle on a weekly basis:
Host Mom: You don't like bread/mandarins/bananas etc. (Not in question form, you'll notice.)
Me: Yes, I do like them!
HM: Well they're here, and you haven't been eating them.
Me: Yeah, it's just that I eat so much at meal times, that I'm not hungry in between.
HM, with a disbelieving, disapproving look: But you eat early in the morning, at around 11 o'clock you could come down and eat more.
Me: I know, thank you, but I'm just not hungry!
And really Hermi, do you eat at every second that you possibly can? I don't say that. But I want to.
This battle on a nearly daily basis:
Host Mom: You didn't eat your salad/dessert/bread. (Or: Take more salad/dessert/bread!)
Me: I already ate the soup and rice and chicken and potatoes. Everything is very good, I just can't eat any more!
That response usually only gets a very worried, incredulous, or even slightly hurt look. Sometimes a strange mixture of the three along with a chuckle, which somehow does not diminish the disapproval.
When I'm vulnerable or tired I lose that battle and just eat. And then feel like I'm going to explode.
And really, no one else eats what I'm expected to eat. But I've found this question/excuse to be an ineffective tactic. Apparently my youth means I ought to be a bottomless pit of insatiable hunger.
I even often resort to going out in the evenings and telling them I was eating dinner en la calle (in the street) or at whomever's house I was going to, just so I can have a break from the force-feeding!
Last night we had three different kinds of sausage as an appetizer and a different kind of pork as the main course. And they desperately wanted to give me seconds. I couldn't brave it.
Could NOT. In fact, the wine at that meal was definitely my life-line in terms of getting the meat taste out of my mouth!
I won that one, but they did not look very pleased with me.
As I was typing this a full plate of food and soup and dessert was brought in to me (8:30 actually being a very usual time for a Peruvian dinner.)
HM: Here's your food hijita! Me: Oh, ok, but umm...I'm really not very hungry. HM: Just eat! And she leaves it. Looks like another win for Hermi. I have absolutely no appetite.