As regular readers know, trips to any city are not common with me, and not really all that welcome*. And on those occasions when such visits are unavoidable I find myself acting like I’m visiting a completely foreign country – and in a sense I am. Thing is, when I used to visit actually foreign countries on business, one of my main concerns was to not let my complete lack of people skills lead me into some sort of really embarrassing international incident. I was not always successful**.
Anyway. I just returned from my second expedition into the world of middle class city folk. Yes, unattended I visited a Trader Joe’s.
And you know what? I like to make a big deal about eating cheap, but I have forgotten that when I actually do have to buy food from a store I’m generally paying a lot more than you…
And generally for a lot less.
Since I’m unusually (and serendipititously – you know how I’m always going on about synchronicity?) okay for cash at present, and since I’m separated from my usual enormous pantry of long-term food, I have decided to eat like a regular American to the extent that it’s possible and convenient. I even bought another loaf of bread this morning, though to be honest it was really only because I forgot to pack bread bags (and now I have two, and there’s a perfectly good oven right here, so soon I’ll be able to eat good bread again.) So this morning I set out on a more extensive expedition, later in the morning when the stores would be open. And … it was weird. I’ve always enjoyed Trader Joe’s, a chain I first encountered in California many years ago and which my then-wife had to drag me into because I thought it was hippy-dippy vegan bullshit – and it does kind of pose like that a bit, I mean the word Organic appears a lot, but that’s only a pose and actually there’s really good middle-class packaged food for (relatively) really good prices and it appears that hasn’t changed a whole lot. So I went in with my shopping list, and it was very clean and very friendly and nice but I’ve been a very long time in the boonies and it really does feel like a foreign country. One I’m not especially anxious to move back to. By week after next I’m going to be howling for the desert, is all I’m saying.
But the thing with the bicycle isn’t going to be the big honking deal I was afraid it would be, once my ass stops aching.
ETA: And I think I’m not the only one missing home…
**I never actually started a war. But there really are places I would not be welcome to return. I was young.