I-Land is where memories and experiences turn into short stories, personal journal entries and narration in first person, part memoir, part fiction, exploring topics such as the relation between humans and the societies they live in.

The True Colors Of An Express Breakfast: The Maple Syrup


[Previously on The True Colors Of An Express Breakfast: There’s two kinds of bread available . . . Get them crisp and crunchy, and you can spread butter on them, jam, even maple syrup. Which brings us to the next item on the counter . . .]

Maple syrup! Our next item on the list. The sweet nectar of Canada, -ish. This batch, more runny than wholesome but equally nutritious, according to the label, is special. It was made from the dripshot of outdoorsy tourists who, having just returned from a three-month trek around Canada, went to the kitchen and scraped their bodies with butter knives and spatulas to get all that sweet accumulation of sweat, dust and skin off their bodies, creating a lovely paste; a sticky, brown, homemade salve of organic nourishment that served as the base for our sticky sweet miracle.

This, of course, was just the beginning of a tried and tested process that next involved a series of fortifications and reductions.

First the paste was fortified with sugar, vinegar, and stabilizing agents. Then it was heated to a boil, reduced, strained, reduced, strained. Then it was left to sit for a day and a half to gain texture, after which it was seasoned with maple dust, stirred, more maple dust and sugar, stirred, and voila:

Maple Syrup express! Five cents a hogshead and as runny as diarrhea, and funny I mention it because ten minutes after you bite into the syrup-drenched toast you made with the brown sliced putty bread, your gut kicks and spasms with pain, intense piercing pain, demanding that you shoot the stuff out of your backside as fast as you can. No questions asked. The orders are to blast it out of you as violently as possible.

Mind you, when the stuff comes out, it feels as runny and insolent as when it came in — bar the clunks of putty that shoot out of you like grapeshot, making a sieve out of the toilet seat — so make sure the lavatory next to the dining room is equipped with plenty of paper rolls, soap, and a mop.

A tip to the wise: check the lavatory beforehand, equip it yourself if you must, or, if you’re fast and brave enough, ditch it and make straight for your room, using the stairs (because the elevator is as slow as fuck — when it works) and do your business in your own privy. It may be your only option. Chances are that all public privies are already full with people who’ve broken their fast on the sweet syrup.

Once you’re done, you can wash yourself in the privacy of your own lodgings, spray on your favorite cologne and head back to the dining room for a helping of eggs and bacon.

Watch this space for Part 4