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Friday, July 16, 2010

Pod People, Mr. Bacon, and My Whole Foods Mugging

My husband may have been taken over by a pod person, but it's cool - this pod person is awesome!

About a week ago I made a tea and lunch date with a good friend of mine that I haven't seen in possibly two years (said date had to and was cleared by the boy since all money of my own comes from Etsy - and there's pretty much never any of that).

Lunch at 12 is usually no big but I had stuff to do before I got that far.

Little known fact. I actually get up around 5 - 6:30 AM. Why? Because it's when my husband gets up for work and if I sleep in too late then I will want to stay up later. And I can't be left alone to stay up late. No no. I insist he stay up with me and keep me company. Because I "like-like" him you know?

Before meeting up with Misty A. (initial added because some of you may remember it was a "Darling Misty B." who supplied me with dreamsicle cupcake info) I had to get in a work-out, shower/wash my hair, go grocery shopping, and take the dog out for her second walk of the day. I'd also planned on a trip to Hobby Lobby but ended up choosing not to go today.

We have been running low on a few items and were totally out of even more so for the last three or so days I had been warning the boy that more money than usual would be spent on groceries. Groceries ran over my quoted price and he was kosher with it. SCORE! I realize they are just groceries but we have been so poor for long I usually feel guilty spending any money.

The chosen lunch spot was a favourite to so many women that I know here - Zen Cha Tea Salon (where you can easily get a pot of tea for around $5). I tried their beef sukiyaki and was far from disappointed. We didn't get any knitting done but we didn't really notice or care. Yet again, the final price ran over my initial quote. He said it was fine and he loves me anyway.

From lunch I headed over to Whole Foods in search of a grouper burger. Giant Eagle used to sell these and loved them but I haven't been able to find them anyplace in over a year - not even Giant Eagle.

Going to Whole Foods can be a dangerous endeavor for a foodie but thankfully I was at least full from lunch so part of the danger was removed.

I hadn't been there long (all I'd picked up at this point was a sale bottle of beaujolais-villages and two packages of Snøfrisk (a Norwegian goat cheese I am particularly fond of). While I was still standing at the mouth of cheesetopia I notice the woman next to me is staring, and not that try-to-hide-it-side-stare but an unapologetic, carefree stare. I move to the other side of her, because it will take more than a bit of staring to scare me away from cheese, but her head continues to swivel and follow me. Pretty sure it was at this point I just look right back at her. I now have a clear view of a middle-aged Asian woman (later she told me she was from Hong Kong).

She tells me she likes my hair and goes on and on about how very different and pretty it is. She also seemed convinced it was some sort of extensions and was not my own hair. Had it not been still wet and up in buns I probably would have let her touch it for herself. I got the very distinct impression she had never seen dreadlocks. She made a few remarks about being sure she would never be able to wear hers the same way.

Usually this is where a conversation would end.

She asked me if I were a student, about the tattoos on my leg, and a bevy of other things. The two things she seemed to focus in one were:

1) I live in Whitehall - which is nowhere near as safe an area as the online crime reports had made it look. For instance, just two days after moving here the boy and I were jumped by six people - and those people even managed to get away with it all.

She asked how much my rent was (cheaper than our house on campus had been). And insisted I move to an apartment complex that was pretty much right across the street. She told me they were cheaper or at least as cheap and much safer. I then received repeated offers for her to go over there with me now to go look at these places. Repeated, insistent offers. Later I got the impression she may live there as well.

2) I used to be a culinary student.

Here is where the "mugging" began. She wanted to know everything. Where I have been to school? What sort of food do I cook? Have I cooked anyplace? She even looked over each item in my cart and asked questions. Like how to make cheese - specifically the Snøfrisk.

[I'm going to add here that this morning at the first grocery store I visited I was asked about the tattoos and if I were a chef and where I currently work.]

Then she started pointing at what seemed like everything in front of us saying that everything there was too expensive and how does she make that (assorted raviolis stuffed with tasty bits) and that (egg noodles).

At this point I'm haphazardly throwing out answers (I went to school in Philly. I can cook pretty much whatever anyone wants. No I do not cook anyplace here. Egg noodles? Those are totally easy for you to make!), not considering the possible repercussions, and leaning in for her to repeat things that didn't seem to make sense to me. Thankfully I didn't speak of having studied to be a sommelier. I can only imagine explaining it and the questions that would ensue.

Somewhere around this time I am looking for a way out and see none. Not even when a Whole Foods employee comes by and asks how we are doing or when my phone started madly bleeping with text messages.

I have no idea how I managed it, but what I sensed was a reasonable time to make a short break away from her (remember people there is still cheese at arms length that I have yet to even look at! I can't leave now!)

This was still not the end of the conversation for her. I had nearly nabbed my first piece of sweet, sweet cheese to ogle, and apparently this was a too daring and vulnerable move. She moved around to the other side of me, not quite but nearly blocking any escape that doesn't involve my interest in the cheese.

I should teach her to cook. It is not a question, but a statement. The haphazard answers are now no longer a problem. I have them in check - or so I thought. She begins asking specific but still very vague questions mingled with statements like "how do I cook fish? I do not know what spice to use. What spice do I use on fish." I tell her there is no one way to make fish and that she will need to first decide how she wants it prepared before spices are an issue. Her response? "I know you use bay leaf in soup." What do you say to this? That had nothing to do with fish. I said the first thing that came to mind that didn't invoke any further fish conversation, "well ya' can".

Shortly after she cornered me I started treating her like someone handing out fliers I have no interest in. I did my best to make very little to no eye contact. The questions keep flying. Now they are about chicken and turkey (which I now notice is all she has in her cart).

I have no idea how it happened. But the storm was winding down. But it still came with some damage. She wants my phone number so I will teach her to cook. I tell her what is actually the truth, "I have no idea what my phone number is". And I honestly don't, I haven't known what number someone can reach me at for well over eight months now. She doesn't understand. I do my best to explain that I don't know what it is because I never bothered to learn it. Before I had a chance to do a thing about it, another haphazard statement flies out of my mouth. I have e-mail and she can e-mail me. Mind you, if she is willing to correspond this way I think there is a chance that I could survive it ([in]famous last words). I give her the e-mail for Om Nom Nom Studios, she mentioned the apartment complex once more and once I (again) declined - she went away.

I was now let alone with the cheese.

In the end my trip to Whole Foods, despite how few items I bought, was more than I expected or wanted to pay. Again, the boy was fine with it all (in addition to okaying my purchasing some knitting patterns online as well as a little bit of yarn from Knit Picks).

Believe it or not kids that was the abbreviated version of all that happened with the nameless woman from Hong Kong.


aaron said...

I happened to read this because it was mentioned on Twitter with #bacon. that's the craziest Whole Foods experience EVER!

the Bacon Nation

Pro-Portional said...

The whole experience was too weird to keep to myself lol

Misty said...

Aww, you got crazied. What do you want to bet that lady can also be found on People of Walmart?

Pro-Portional said...

If I ever find her there. I WILL post her.