“I want ice cream,” I said, on a warm summer day.
“I won’t stop you,” said Ian.
I cream is happiness in a cup. It’s a simple as that.
As a child, I would get excited when the ice cream trolley would pass by. They have a distinctive bell followed by, “Ice cream! Ice cream!” You know that the neighbourhood kids, myself included, would run down and impatiently wait in front of their homes, until its their turn with the ice cream trolley.
It is simple ice cream, commonly called “dirty ice cream,” available in three flavours—cheese, chocolate, and avocado. You can choose just one, but back then and even today, you must have all three. This is one consistency in Philippine culture. It never changes, except the price. But even now, it is still on the cheap side. We still all wait for the bells of the sorbetero.
This is the one thing that never changes. When I visit home, we still often buy ice cream from the trolley. Though some trolleys sell commercial ice cream, the “dirty ice cream” is still as alive as ever.
My Mom bought ice cream for me after we visit the dentist.
My Mom bought ice cream for me after a doctor’s appointment (injections).
My Mom bought ice cream for me when I’m sad.
My Mom bought ice cream for me when I’m happy.
My Mom bought ice cream simply because.
Growing up, we sometimes visit the city. We live in a small town and the city is about 40 minutes away. I remember that we would always go to the Magnolia House. It is the popular specialty ice cream shop back then. They would close for a long time, opening recently in the metro. But their bestseller was, and still is—the banana split.
A visit to the city meant that I will get a banana split. Three scoops of ice cream—vanilla, chocolate, and strawberries, flanked by split bananas. This would be smothered by chocolate syrup, peanuts, and marshmallow. Thinking about it makes my mouth water.
That’s the magic of life.
Ice cream also reminds me of my Grandfather who recently passed away. When he was still strong enough, he would always bring us two tubs of ice cream—one chocolatey, for the kids; and one fruity, for the adults. He did this every time the family would get together until the time that he completely weakened. He was always the Grandfather who brought ice cream.
After his funeral, we were having a family meal, as traditionally done. My younger cousins, nephews and nieces, were asking me for ice cream. I bought two large tubs for them. Ironically, they chose two flavours—one chocolatey and one fruity, just like how our Grandfather used to bring them. I don’t know if they remember, as they were too young. But it was a good way to celebrate his life.
Ice cream is still a part of me. It is a celebration of the everyday.
I’m lucky I have a partner who shares this magic.
“Remember when we first went out?” I asked.
“Yes,” he said.
“Remember we got ice cream?”
“Yes, you were a kiddo. Messy.”
“Remember what you said?”
“It made me happy. Ice cream should make you happy.”
My ice cream desires would grow and expand. I still love the classic “dirty ice cream.” I discovered gelato and it was love at first bite. There are all sorts of ice cream from all over and I am determined to try as much as I can. I even gained weight backpacking through Europe as I think I practically ate ice cream once or twice a day! And that desire never abated.
Now, it’s a warm summer day. And I want ice cream.
“Can you take me to get ice cream?” I asked.
“Where?” said Ian.
And he did take me.
Today’s prompt was fun. My food is ice cream and I’m imagining us, lounging around in my apartment, talking about ice cream, like we usually do. Day 10! I can hardly believe it!