Today is my third day of orientation, and since being in the office I’ve had Jordanian cookies, escargot, and a Cookout milkshake. Nobody told me this internship included an education in global cuisine.
While I did enjoy eating all of these different treats (yes, even the escargot), the most wonderful aspect of these gastronomic experiences was not the food itself, but the company and conversation that accompanied them. The Jordanian cookies were passed around the office and eaten throughout my first day, giving me opportunities to engage in “get to know you” conversations with some of my new coworkers. I ate escargot during lunch with the other interns, where we bonded over our most embarrassing moments. We got Cookout milkshakes directly after our snail-filled lunch as we began a tour of Richmond. Even though I have lived in this city for almost a year, there were still stops on the tour that I had never seen before!
Throughout all of these meals, I have been struck by the community that exists within this office. Sharing meals (and desserts) together has given me just a small glimpse into the lives of my new coworkers. I know that this is only the beginning of lunches like this, and I expect that over the course of my internship I will share many more food-based experiences with the office, each of which I’m sure will be even more enlightening than the last. I have always thought of food as one of the best vehicles for conversation, and these past few days have strengthened my belief in that.