As always, the only thing linking the two things mentioned in this post in my mind is that they both start with the same letter of the alphabet.
Actually, citrus fruits and any similar taste or smell, such as verbena and lemongrass. It’s a similar thing as with Asian food (tangy taste), and in summer especially, there is nothing more refreshing IMHO; whether as juice, fruit salad, slices, or whatever. Also, along the lines of “tangy taste”, I do like my citrus fruits really tangy — I prefer limes to lemons, blood oranges to other oranges, pink grapefruit to yellow grapefruit, etc., and when I have grapefruit halves for breakfast, I have them without adding any sugar or sweetener.
When I was little, the fact that I liked citrus fruits so much was a considerable source of relief to my mom: As I’ll be mentioning again when we get a little further down the alphabet of dislikes, I had a set-in-stone, “don’t ever even come near me with that stuff” list of dislikes as a kid, which was made up of several extremely common (and healthy) food items — all of which my mom herself loves, incidentally –, and not less than three of which are among the fruits and vegetables that mothers love to feed their kids, because they are great sources of vitamins and minerals. So you can bet that my mom made full use of the fruits that I did like — including, of course, citrus fruits!
As a matter of fact, though, I don’t just like these as “real” fruit — they’re also among my favorite scents for bath and beauty products, as well as flavoring in other types of food — biscuits / cookies, jams, marmelade, mixed drinks, and especially tea: Earl Grey is among my favorite scented black teas, and most of my favorite infusions likewise contain at least one citrus fruit as part of their flavoring.
(Note: All images in this section of the post except for the top one are mine.)
In Myers Briggs, I identify as a borderline case of two of the rarest personality types, INTP and INTJ (it seems to make a difference how adventurous I happen to be feeling, and how I consequently assess some of my preferences, when I take the test) — and it’s definitely not a coincidence that the first three of the letters, particularly the “I”, are consistent and only the last letter is subject to occasional variation.
Consequently, this sort of scenario
is a complete and utter nightmare to me, but actually, a “crowd” begins with decidedly smaller groups in my book: When I’m around a stranger I can’t connect with (and let’s face it, with my personality type(s) chances of that happening are overwhelmingly high) or with a person I dislike, even two can manifestly form a crowd; and needless to say, parties — except with a group of very good friends with whom I’m thoroughly comfortable — can be a veritable ordeal, particularly beforehand, as long as I don’t know yet how they will turn out. (When working at large firms, I typically even tried to avoid office parties to the maximum extent possible … there just always “happened” to be a brief or other project that I was absolutely incapable of getting out of at the relevant time.) Social networking, which constitutes a fairly large part of my day job, is the one aspect of that job that I absolutely abhor. Shopping, particularly in crowded supermarkets, malls or city centres, is only fun to me (and even that, only in hindsight most of the time) if it yields a sufficient number of shiny new possessions; preferably books. Carnivals, amusement parks and fun fairs used to be enjoyable and even (dare I say it) exciting when I was a teenager and attending them with friends; these days I can only be prevailed upon to pay them the briefest of visits, if that, and preferably at times when I can still be reasonably assured I won’t be hemmed in by people on all sides, so close that I barely have room to breathe. And however much I love Christmas markets as a festive setting, there, too, I try to go at times when they are not yet absolutely crammed with people and I still have at least a reasonable shot at taking in the atmosphere and the wares on display.
The tiny biannual carnival (every Easter and fall / Thanksgiving) on the banks of the Rhine near my home
Christmas markets: Cologne (left, 2016) and Bonn (right, 2017)
The only exception where I’m more comfortable being in a crowd is at the theatre, opera, concert, cinema, or comparable cultural event or performance … because there I am, for all practical purposes, essentially alone with the performers on the stage or screen: As soon as the lights go out, I can mentally block out the rest of the audience and just focus on the performance as such. Even there, though, I could do without the breaks most of the time — if I’m not compelled to “make conversation” with someone, I just bury myself in the program.
In the audience at the Bregenz Opera Festival: The Magic Flute (left, 2013) and Turandot (right, 2015)
Long story short, guess what aspect of the COVID pandemic doesn’t pose a problem to me at all? Social distancing!!
(Note: All images in this section of the post except for the very top and bottom ones are, again, mine.)