Saturday, February 23, 2008


They were selling Coke in glass bottles at Macey's earlier this week. For only a dollar I had to buy one.

The first time I ever had Coke came nearly 10 years after the first time I smelled Coke. I first smelled the stuff at the BYU tennis courts where it was soaking the grass, and in turn soaking up the sun. Sun-soaked Coke will never become a cologne nor a fancy candle.

That's my first memory of Coke.

I was 19 when I first drank Coke. I drank it from a chilled, glass bottle whilst seated in the Rishando's house in Nkulumane, a suburb of Bulawayo. In many ways, Nkulumane reminds me of a slightly more populated Manti. It's a beautiful place with beautiful sunsets, beautiful landscape and beautiful people. It is one of my most favorite spots on this earth.

We had just finished teaching a lesson to the Rishando girls when, as is the kind custom in Zimbabwe, we were offered a drink and biscuits. Oh, how I miss those biscuits. I love dusty biscuits. One of the best gifts I ever got as a missionary was a package (a huge package) of Petit Beurre butter biscuits from Elder Fitzgerald.

Anyway, so Mrs. Rishando (she wasn't officially Sister Rishando at that time) popped the caps off the bottles and I took my first draught. I first thought, after the juice had grated down my throat, "How did Coke ever make any money selling this stuff?!" It took everything I had to finish that bottle! But like any good drug, the next bottle was easier, and the next easier, and so on until I actually started to like it.

So, I bought the bottle at Macey's, chilled it overnight, popped the top and took a memory drenched draught of the familiar liquid. It was good. Though I still wonder how Coke ever convinced people to take a second gulp -- it's potent stuff.


Kira Joy said...

I like Coke well enough, I am a Dr Pepper or a Pepsi girl at heart...Coke is too spicy for me (not hot spicy but spice gumdrop spicy). I, however, to not attach any of the beverages to memories as you do...except I do remember my grandma not wanting me to have aspertane (sp? the artificial sweetener in diet drinks) because "it would stunt my growth"

Dan Kim said...

Well, at first they used to put stimulants from coca-leaves, the ingredient for cocaine! Yeah, that's a part of the reason why people took that second gulp.