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Ode to Soda

            Soda is carbonated sugar acid. It is amazing. I already have a palate that prefers sweet to savory things, and to that you add water, just a little tang from the acids, fizz, and some extra flavoring. It helps me stay awake (or maybe puts me to sleep) do to the caffeine and sugar buzz/crash you get from it. It can be much more inexpensive than coffee, and you can usually drink a lot more before becoming tired of it. Soda is how I got through my master’s degree. It would keep me alert and writing papers and scootering in the dark up the mountains of Taiwan. I have had many favorite sodas through the years from Root Beer, to Cherry Pepsi to Coke to the present. Now, my personal favorites are Dr Pepper, cherry variations on that, and Vanilla Coke. I still remember when Vanilla Coke came out. I was visiting Pennsylvania, and the first sip I had I recognized it immediately. I had been putting vanilla extract into coke for years, particularly when I had it in wine glasses to make it just a little fancier. However, I cannot say I am a connoisseur of the flavors since I cannot rightly put down why I like these flavors, but they very much appeal to my palate. I think I like the subtle hints of flavor that come with the cherry and vanilla. They are also flavors I enjoy elsewhere, so the addition to soda gives them an added pleasure in my mind. I can drink them with almost anything at any time and enjoy their flavor. It is a nice and quiet moment to enjoy a soda in the garden. It can be a refresher when you are toiling in the sun, and it give motivation both in the expectation of a cool, crisp soda and in the energy that it gives to continue your work. It is a great way to end a run and helps to alleviate post-run coughing. The feeling of soda searing down your throat after hard exertion is a very strange pleasure. Soda is a way to get calories into my body when it is very hot, particularly since I lose most of my appetite when I am extremely hot. I can convince myself easily to drink things when I do not want to eat, and so soda becomes a way to get more than just water into my body, however against nutritionist values this may run. I have had a few people ask me how I have so much energy, and my response is usually “I sleep a lot, and drink a bunch of soda.”