Looking through the snake diet I saw that most of the foods were Mediterranean-Greek staples like “lamb”, “yogurt”, “cheese”, etc. (HoxZodiac.com) So, I thought it was a perfect opportunity to support a local business and family favorite during this pandemic-economic crisis - a family-owned Greek restaurant in Oceanside, California - Paul’s Place.
Figure 1. Paul’s Place in Oceanside, CA.
It has been such a long time since I have eaten here, so I am very grateful for this project for leading me back and reminding me of Paul’s Place. As stated in a 5-star Yelp review, “This place is a hidden gem!” Ever since I could remember, my grandpa always loved to eat here. He would always order a “Gyro Dinner” with a side of onion rings and a Dr. Pepper. It is no surprise that Paulʻs Place has become a favorite restaurant of mine - very near and dear to my heart - but mostly, to my stomach! Supporting this family favorite is always a pleasure, but it is even more of an honor to give support during this time. It has been heart-wrenching to see how many people have forced out of their jobs due to the current pandemic, but it was a sight of hope to see Paul’s Place continue to stay in business and still make delicious Greek food.
Figure 2. Gyro Dinner for Lunch.
For my lunch offering as a snake, I ordered a “Gyro Dinner” (as seen above) with a pink lemonade (not pictured because it was slurped down). The snake foods in my my main meal consists of: “lamb” as my lamb gyro, “avocado” as my avocado slices, and “onion” as my slices of onion. I am also using “potato” in my meal as french fries as it is said to be good for the snake organ, “the spleen” (Stevenson). My greek yogurt tzatziki incorporates the snake diet of “yogurts” and also feta “cheese”. For my drink, I am also using the snake beverage of “lemon juice” within the lemonade. I also mixed in “honey” which is also said to be good for the snake organ, “the spleen” (Stevenson).
Figure 4. Green Snake.
Moving on, understanding the snake as my zodiac and as an extension of who I am has been a particular conflict. Growing up in a very conservative, Christian family, I have always been taught that the snake was the literal embodiment of Satan and deception and overall evil (Dolansky) - the complete opposite of what my family wants and has raised me to be. This zodiac-familial conflict incited me to find someplace, anyplace where there was Christian empathy for the snake. After all, isn’t the snake also part of God’s creation? And just because the devil took the form of a serpent, why should all snakes be condemned? I finally stumbled upon a short and brief Christian blog (https://conformtojesus.com/) where the snake is finally sympathized and empathized with. In the blog by Chad A. Damitz, he prefaces with a snake haiku.
“Slithering snake sneaks
Behind the white joyful mouse.
Hawk snatches the snake.”
Although very brief, the haiku paints the snake as more than just a symbol for evil - but as an integral and much-needed and important part of our world. The snake is not only predator, but also prey. I share Damitz’s view when he says, “I don’t rejoice in this conflict because all the creatures need to eat in order to survive, and someone gets hurt in the end. Rather, I wait in anticipation for the new Heaven and Earth where God said there will no longer be any death or animosity.” The blog gives insight that the snake is also held in the light as one of God’s creations, because its life is part and parcel of the circle and balance of all life - namely the food chain. This concept and mantra of the food chain intimately connects with our class and highlights humanity’s apex position - but also our immense responsibility - to honoring all the earth’s animals - both the demonized and adored.
Dolansky, Shawna. “How the Serpent Became Satan.” Biblical Archaeology Society, 21 June 2019, www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/biblical-topics/bible-interpretation/how-the-serpent-became-satan/.
Stevenson, Jennifer. “Foods to Strengthen the Spleen & Beat Fatigue.” Jade Spring Acupuncture, Jade Spring Acupuncture, 27 Mar. 2013, thejadespring.com/blog/foods-to-strengthen-the-spleen-beat-fatigue-part.
S., Lazaro. “Paul's Place - Oceanside, CA.” Yelp, 13 May 2020, www.yelp.com/biz/pauls-place-oceanside?q=best.
Damitz, Chad A. “Haiku Poem: The Slithering Snake.” Conform to Jesus, 7 Feb. 2020, conformtojesus.com/2020/02/07/haiku-poem-the-slithering-snake/.
Hox Zodiac, www.hoxzodiac.com/.