Culture Club

Yes..I know...two posts in one day...within minutes of each other...it's madness!!!!  I trust you'll forgive me.  I just didn't get a chance to post anything yesterday and had something I wanted to share even before the "all about earrings" entry!

So, yesterday...being Saturday...was a gorgeous day!  Mr. Snark arrived home Friday afternoon from a 3-day business trip to The Peach State.  His homecoming is important to this story because it meant that I could go out gallivanting (translation = poking around, shopping, driving my car like the gas prices don't mean jack or squat)!  Woohoo!!!  Normal weeks allow me lots of time/opportunities to do this and it's actually more fun during the week because the shopping population is markedly lower.  BUT...this week was Spring Break and Mr. Snark has been out of pocket since Wednesday morning.  We were all happy to see him.  We function okay as a trio in various forms...but something's never quite right. 

Off I went....stopped here and there.  Bought some new tee-shirts.  I have to replace my shirts twice a year, every year.  Once in the Spring/Summer and once in the colder months.  It is what it is.  As the mature (HA) forty year old that I am, I should be able to make my shirts last longer, but they just don't.  I'm a stain catcher.  I've gotten to where I cook in an apron...ALWAYS...unless I have on a "house" shirt and it doesn't see any more daylight than walking to the mailbox.  And sometimes, even the apron doesn't seem to be enough...a full Haz-Mat suit might be better!  Looked at this and looked at that.  Before I knew it, lunch time had rolled around and since I was out and about, well....why not let someone else cook it for me and serve it to me?

I ended up at a new place in town...well, relatively new....I always mean to stop there, but forget and get into my little routine.  It's a Vietnamese restaurant.  I've NEVER had Vietnamese food...had Thai, ate enough Chinese to be fluent, tried and enjoyed Korean and of course, the special trips to various Japanese steakhouses.  Never having eaten it, I had no idea what to expect, but wanted to chart some unknown culinary territory.  I went in, was seated and given a menu.  I looked around at what the other customers were eating and everything looked good.  I made my selection...do NOT ask me how to pronounce it...it was pretty simple, actually.  Thin slices of flank steak on a bed of rice vermicelli noodles, with scallions, lemon grass and cilantro.  There was a sprinkling of crushed peanuts on the top of it and some crunchy shreds of lettuce to the side.  It came with a sauce that was sort of vinegary....with shreds of carrots in it.  I enjoyed it very much!  But what was MOST enjoyable had nothing to do with the food.

I am a self confessed human nature observer, which, outside of the boundaries of this blog simply means (say it with me) I'm a people watcher.  I'm an avid fan of this activity...a dedicated practitioner, even!  So, there I was....in a Vietnamese noodle house...deep in the heart of WayDownSouth....in the Bamaham....listening to the patrons across from me converse in rapid fire French (they were Caucasian or would that be Eurasian and it was obvious that these two ladies were native French speakers.  This was their Mother-tongue...this wasn't "I was a French major in college" kind of conversation.  This was the genu-ine 'Parlez vous!')...with a NASCAR race playing on the TEE-vee (same thing as TV...that's just how it's said WayDownSouth)above their heads!  And I was all alone (by my own choice), with no one to share this delightfully absurd clash of cultures with me!  I got so tickled...I nearly choked. 

Anyone else find it amusing?  I mean....maybe some place like NYC, this kind of cultural mash-up happens all the time...so much so that people don't find the humor or beauty or delight in it.  Of course, not everyone shares my perspective and awareness of these kind of oddities, which really is kind of sad.  Life is so hard and often times, so very cruel.  It's moments like these that lift my heart...they make me smile and being the compulsive smiler that I am, it just gets bigger and goofier!  I look for these moments...for the silver lining....I need them.  We all need them.  I want to appreciate all that my life has to offer...all the blessings that God sees fit to send me.  These blessings, however, often require me...and you...to step outside of what's comfortable., what's routine, what's known.  Sometimes, the unknown is delicious and humorous!

And see...some of you thought I was going to write about Boy George and his band of merry music makers!!!

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