I needed several ingredients, some of which I had never cooked with before, for a Thai soup I planned to simmer in the slow cooker and set out this morning with the Hammer to find them. I started at a Chinese grocery I have shopped in now and again since I set up home in Steepleton. The store has turned into one of those places where the English language is unheard of. There were lots of signs that looked like the Hong Kong horse racing paper and that was about it. They could not even be bothered to post or tag any of their stuff with a price. I did not buy anything.
As the Hammer, who loves the smells that come out of Asian grocery stores and restaurants, and I left the store one the clerks stepped outside and knocked back a can of something I could not read the ingredients of the way I polish off a beer at 1:00 AM. I am not going back there. I am never going back to that store. Fuck them in fact.
I was just going to go to the supermarket and see what I could find there when I caught a glimpse of an Indian store open for business in one of my city's many malls. I picked up a few things there but I washed them real good before I put them in the soup because Indian places always smell like shit to me.
A Thai grocery was opening soon so I walked the Hammer to a park around the corner where she likes to run and drank a beer in the baseball dugout. There was lots of smashed glass, cigarette butts and used condoms in the dugout. It made me homesick for Sliverville.
The people in the Thai grocery were very helpful and their store did not smell like an old man's pants. Almost everything in the store was tagged with a price and my language was to be found here and there on many of the products and on signs. They had all the ingredients I needed and then some. They have found themselves a customer for life.
As the gal behind the check out rang up my goods she asked, "No meat?" I told her, "In a world of scarce resources we all have to make choices. I prefer my grain to be made into beer instead of animals."
She looked at me with an expression of puzzlement - the way most people look at me come to think of it - and said, "We have meat here that goes very good with Singha. That is Thai beer...like Canadian." I told her, "Beer goes good with beer."
By the time I left the store the mall's parking lot was just about full. Catering to the Asian and Indian community is either the best business to be in or there are some big grow-ops in the basements of those stores needing tending.