May 9, 2010

Lots of people don’t know how nice a guy I am. Oh sure, I have mega issues with the Obama administration, but then again, I would have those kinds of issues with anyone who is nothing but an empty-shirt idealogue hell-bent on destroying the country I happen to live in – warts and all. It’s all about the “C” word – no, you silly goose, it’s not the dude’s color, but his competence I’m most concerned about. Of which, BTW, he has yet to show me any evidence of.

But I digress.

And some might also say that, because I’m fully supportive of the recent legislation enacted by the Arizona legislature to identify and prosecute those who are here illegally, I’m against everything that is and could be from south of our border. Again, nothing could be further from the truth. I truly love the Mexican culture, it’s food, art, religious practices, architecture, and music, and have always found myself comfortable with and around those who have come here from south of the border to make their own success story here in the U.S. My preference is simply that our nation’s laws be upheld and enforced.

I only write this because today I went to my first Food City supermarket. Amongst the locals, Food City is, to be blunt, where the Mexicans shop. The Fry’s, Safeways, and Fresh & Easy chains are (for lack of a better term), well, not. Go to the more affluent towns of Gilbert, Chandler, Tempe, etc. around here and you’ll find any number of Fry’s, Safeways, or Fresh & Easys. Go to Mesa or the older parts of Phoenix where everything is more blue-collar, and there you’ll find the Food Citys. And given the reality of who the blue-collar workers are around these parts, the Food Citys are well known for their selection of Mexican goods and produce.

As it turns out, my sister-in-law Tam’s apartment in Mesa is right down the street from a Food City, and since we both had grocery shopping to do, we decided to join forces. What an interesting experience it was! Just entering the parking lot on this Mother’s Day was like entering a whole ‘nother world and cultural experience. On the sidewalk, flowers, hot dogs, and fresh tortillas were being sold and served. Inside, a whole aisle of Mexican produce, spices, and chiles I never even knew existed. In the meat section, cow parts I never even knew people bought (let’s leave it at that!) and all kinds of interesting pork products I’d never find at my local Fry’s. And, even better, a shopping experience accompanied by traditional Mexican music played above – it sure beat the recycled ’70s and ’80s pop crap I have to endure whenever I do my regular shopping at Fry’s. I’m sorry, but grocery shopping should never be done – at any time – to U2, Bonnie Tyler, Meatloaf, and A Flock of Seagulls.

Oh sure, when it comes to pure selection Food City can’t hold a candle to my Fry’s – the FC folks know their clientele and simply don’t have the same footprint for selection as my Fry’s does. But I found my grocery shopping experience there made much more comfortable and enjoyable amongst the Mexican families who were shopping along with Tam and me there today. Maybe I find them a little more down to earth, a little less spoiled and demanding than the largely middle-class and above folks that frequent the Fry’s. I definitely found the whole cultural experience more vibrant and family-traditional. And the fact you get get six fresh flour tortillas with any take-home rotisserie chicken is hard to beat.

So I was in a good mood when I got to the check-out register. There, a young girl no more than ten was trying to buy a Mother’s Day card. She had a $5 bill, and the card, with tax, came to $5.39. Not yet fully versed in this country’s willingness and ability to tax freakin’ everything that federal, state, local, and county government can get its grimy hands on, the poor girl was stressing out over what to do. I told her, “don’t worry honey – you just make your mom happy, I’ll pay for the card.” Her eyes lit up and she said, “Gracias, senor.” Calling upon my best 8th grade Spanish from Mrs. Basile’s class, I replied, “De nada, mi querido”.

So there you have it. A little girl made happy, and an interesting time had by all. The rotisserie chicken subsequently became the base of a wonderful Mexican tortilla soup, and the six flour tortillas were a wonderful accompanyment.

Just call The Great White Shank, “Mr. Multicultural”.

Filed in: Religion & Culture by The Great White Shank at 23:13 | Comments (0)
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