Other Worldly

For the two of you who still stop by, and the handful that have email updates, I am sorry I have been awol. 

I just haven’t felt it in me, but I guess I am not dead yet, because one trip to the grocery store gave me about 9 mental blog posts. 

Grace and I just went to the new Oriental Market in town. It was a wild and wonderful ride, and I am sure we looked like the worst kind of tourists, with perplexed and admiring looks on our faces as we picked up this mung bean noodle, and this beloved candy pocky stick candy, and this new treasure of blueberry gum.  We picked up pickled cucumbers (which were not at all what we were expecting when we opened them) and mung bean cake which was pressed into a beautiful white shape of perfection.  We passed on both the dragon fruit and jack fruit, although that took some restraint, especially since we saw repeats of the jack fruit in various canned varieties  on almost every aisle, regardless of the country.  Next time.

As we went up and down each aisle it was like being in a different country with each turn of the corner.  I don’t think I was imagining that the Middle Eastern aisles had Middle Easterners, and each respective Asian aisle had the respective Asian customers. I kept wondering if something as simple as a grocery store, one with an aisle filled with their own language, and with the food they remembered from the days when they were small could feel like home to them.  I felt this sense of joy in each aisle, mixed with a poignant sadness of loss.  I read a lovely book once, called “Crescent” where the writer talks about the eternal grief for your lost country, when you leave it, and I wondered if this little glimpse of home could help, even a little bit.  If standing in the line at the meat shop in the store that had baked things that honestly, you would never see at the corner grocery (they still had necks and eyes and parts) makes you feel a small comfort.

We stood in line behind a wizened woman buying spring roll wrappers (we were too!), but she had all kinds of indescribable contents for her spring rolls, like sliced eye (of what?) and some kind of bone or hoof or hock of something, and piles of lovely green vegetables and I could just see her, making rolls just like her mother taught her.  The contents of each cart were as unique as the person pushing it, and it was a cultural experience, and while most of the drivers seemed to know exactly where they were heading, Grace and I were aimless and lost.

Altogether, Grace and I spent $42.  It was the cheapest possible trip around the world.

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38 Responses to Other Worldly

  1. Sandi says:

    LeeLee has made our grocery shopping so much more interesting too. it’s on the way to “regular” store so we stop frequently, the mangos are the absolute best right now but don’t miss the avocado ice cream-yum

  2. calories says:

    I strongly feel that the author has got lot of will power. She has proved it by avoiding jack fruit. I think it is a real achievement. I am a diabetic and my doctor has advised me not to eat jack fruit. But in my view it is a really difficult thing to do. I want to avoid it but I cannot. The temptation is so much. I hope at least in the future I will be able to avoid the temptation.

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