About Me (2)
General Stuff (9)
New York (3)
People I've Met (6)
Preparations and Inspiration (3)
Lurking Around on Travel Sites
In My Own Bed
Pray For It
Seattle and Interesting Uses of Pyrex
Heading to Seattle
Weekend Out of Hippyville
The $330 Trip to the Oregon Country Fair
July 4th, 2004
More Books I've Read
Why Are These People Talking to Me?
There And Back Again
I Wanted To End It All
Summing Up the Gobi
June 29, 2004
Why Are These People Talking to Me?
Here in Eugene, people actually have conversation with random strangers. I'm not used to this. Where I come from (Long Island and Hoboken) we buy our stuff and want to be outta there ASAP.
When I was in the asian market next to Anthony's place yesterday, a little old lady was standing there staring at two different types of bananas. There were the standard big, long ones common in the States, and the smaller ones common in Asia.
"Excuse me, why are the smaller bananas more expensive than the bigger ones?" says Little Old Lady.
"Because they're different types, not just different sizes. The smaller ones are sweeter and from Asia most likely, more EXOTIC, " says I. In fact, it's the first time I've seen bananas bigger than 4 inches long since last September.
"But you don't get as many bananas for the price," says she.
"Well, a pound of small bananas and a pound of big bananas are both still a pound of bananas, and the price isn't really that different." At this point I thought about explaining the whole pound of feathers weighing the same as a pound of lead thing, but decided against it.
Then today, I decided to branch out from the asian market, and go to the big supermarket to buy Claudia friendly food (read instantly edible, no assembly required). My first stop was the cheese section. Ahh fromage... how I've missed you. This being Oregon, there were about eight thousand types of cheese and they had descriptions that read like wine labels:
"This semi-soft raw goat's milk cheese was rubbed in ash and then wedged up the goat's ass to give it a smokey flavor, blah blah blah, and a fine finish of rosemary."
As soon as I saw goat's cheese, I moved on. I like goat's cheese, but I'm not ready to eat more goat's anything after all the goat/sheep I consumed in Mongolia, often with the animal's head staring back at me from a stool across the ger. I looked behind me just to be sure nothing was staring back. I bought some unpronouncable cheese which had a sign saying it complimented olives and I was slightly disappointed that they didn't have any fresh mozzarella floating in water. That's what I was really hankering for with a bit of balsamic vinegar, but no such luck. I guess that's a NY thing.
I bought a few other things (RAN, not walked, by the bagel section because even seeing those tasty round shapes is torture when I can't have House of Bagels bagels) and nearly had a heart attack in the juice section from the massive selection. I'm used to orange and apple being the only options. I wanted to buy EVERYTHING. Cranberry, pink grapefruit, mango, you name it. How exciting!!! I refrained and just got one bottle.
I finished up, and went to check out. Here, another person wanted to have random conversation. "Did you find everything alright? Ahh, the olive bar, these are nice, I always love it when we get this cheese that I can't pronounce the name of in." I'm glad I hadn't bought any beer because it seems EVERYONE around here has opinions on their microbrews. I'm just not educated enough to be able to have an indepth chat about New Belgium's Loft Ale vs. New Cascade's Stout. Likewise about coffee. I can't tell the difference between the Kenyan Organic Blend beans and Starbucks. Sorry, I just can't. I'm not saying there isn't a difference, but I've been drinking Nescafe for a year, cut me some slack.
Speaking of organic.. everything is freakin organic. I saw a can of soup I almost bought for the label- Organic Chicken Broth Made From Free Range Chickens Fed Only Non Genetically Enhanced Grains. But it cost $4! Who the hell wants to spend $4 on something that you usually pay less than $1 for?
I feel like Oregon is another country. I'm not used to people being polite. In fact, when I'm on the bike, I keep thinking like a car driver and am imagining how annoying this jackass on the bike is for slowing them down. I had someone wait at a green light and wave me by (I had a red) while I was at a corner. I know these are supposed to be good things (help staff being helpful and polite, drivers not trying to run you down, random strangers having a nice little exchange) but I almost feel offended. I don't know how to respond. It's all very very odd. By the time I get used to it, it will be time to go back to NY and readjust all over again.
Posted by Claudia on June 29, 2004 07:23 PM