Friday, November 11, 2011

Nothing Says "Happy Holidays" Like a Stegosaurous

Some days, I encounter things that make me think "I love America." 

Today, Bob and I went grocery shopping. Before hitting the regular store, we hit the local Asian specialty market.  He's not much into Asian food, but I am - particularly for unique and fun Japanese snacks.  The place mostly caters to the local Korean-American community, but they have stuff from all over Asia, including stuff you find on funny "Engrish" sites - in other words, things you just don't get at the "regular" supermarket.

Okay, so I can get the edamame I'm so addicted to at the regular store, but the Asian market has bags of the stuff for a cheaper price.

Anyway, in this market there was an endcap with Mexcian stuff of all things.  In with all the specialty noodles and sauces and packages written in Chinese, Japanese and Korean, there's part of an aisle with Mexican stuff - the kind of stuff  I remember specialty stores in Arizona that catered specifically to the Hispanic population carrying, stuff I haven't seen since I left the Southwest.  I picked up a bag of Horchata mix.  (If you've never heard of it, Horchata is a rice-milk drink flavored with cinnamon - very popular in Mexico and among Mexican-American communities).  Lilly-white blond, green-eyed me loves the stuff.  Along with Japanese snacks and candy, Korean-style hot-pot meat, stuff made in Singapore...

We got to the checkout and in this Korean-run market, the checkout ladies are speaking to each other in Spanish and one of them saw my horchata mix and was all "What? We carry horchata here?! Dude!"

Just, I don't know - the sheer diversity of it all was really cool.  All these things from so many different cultures and backgrounds coming together even if it's just products and food and awkward white people finding unexpected things hiding around a market.

After this, Bob and I stopped by the nearby K-Mart.  Walking down the aisle looking for winter thermal wear for me to wear under my clothes at my cold outdoor farm job, we saw....  Barak Obama-head Chia Pets - a whole display of them. Granted, there were also Chia Spongebobs and Chia Homer Simpsons and regular old fashioned Chia Pets, but.... our President's head is a Chia Pet.  We are free enough to have no fear of making our leaders into kitch. 

Checking out of K-Mart, there were boxes on the end-wall of lighted Christmas / Holiday yard displays.  One of them (large, boxed, with a picture on the box) was... a lighted, animated holiday stegosaurs. I'm serious. It had a Santa hat on and a red and white striped scarf on its neck. 

It was a lighted, merry stegosaurus.

I think I really love where I live and its culture - it's diverse, delightfully kitchy and sometimes downright weird.  It is awesome.

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