In these past years I’ve learned much and thanks to a very strict gluten free diet I’ve been feeling much better. The family was not prepared for this, and became a bit offended when I refused what they offered me. We also ate out at restaurants, and I was embarrassed and a bit ashamed to have to send back desserts two nights in a row because of a small biscotto on top of my gelato, or what looked to be a thin layer of cake underneath. I don’t know what I would have done had I stayed any longer than a weekend, because I was completely relying on a family who knew nothing about celiac disease to feed me. I suppose in the future it would be best to bring my own gluten free pasta and snacks in order to put less of a burden on my generous hosts.
The funny part is that a friend of the family I was staying with seemed to understand the seriousness of my diet more than my old friends! For instance, I was out to dinner with my friends, found a cookie on my dessert and they suggested simply eating around it. However, when we went to a luncheon prepared by my friends’ friends, the hostess there suggested that I take my helpings before anyone else so as to avoid cross contamination. How thoughtful!
The moral is, always travel prepared, even when visiting good friends. Furthermore, I don’t really see any harm in exaggerating symptoms when describing what might happen to you if it will help someone to better understand. I bring this up because one of my best friends responded to the question of what might happen to me by saying “shell get a stomach ache” and that was the end of it! Never expect anyone to understand the gluten free diet no matter how much you explain it, and try not to be overly sensitive about others’ reactions.