Monday, May 21, 2007

A trip to Asia

I ran a few errands today. I went to get a pair of glasses (they should arrive in 7-10 days). I bought a few plants from the Home Depot. I went to the Oriental store. I went to Eckerds and bought a box fan.

Oriental Imports is a tiny store off Laurens Road that I've only been in once with my mother. Still, I could recall where I needed to be: the basement. Yes, the grocery part of the store is on the lower level. For a split second, when I walked in, all eyes were on me. I felt distinctly un-Asian. I always do when I go in these Asian stores; after all, my only language is English.

I passed the lucky bamboo, the china plates, and the karate uniforms to the back of the store and descended a rickety staircase to the very, very identifiable Asian-store smell. I walked up and down aisle after aisle looking for curry sauce mix.

I eventually gave up and went back upstairs. I asked the man at the counter if he could help me. I described what I was looking for and immediately he nodded. He hummed a happy little tune as he descended the scary stair case and walked immediately up to the curry boxes that I had been looking for. I thanked him and he made his way back up the stairs.

I grabbed a box of curry sauce mix, two Panda Bear March snacks (for Alex and Lauren), and a package of mochi. Despite my desperate search for something--anything--made by Goldilocks, I turned up empty handed. I guess I'll have to go to the Filipino store for my shopow and candy meat.

I get up the the counter to make my purchases. The only other person in the store turns around and says to me, "Chinese?" "No, Filipino," I say. "Ahh," he nods. "But only half." The owner of the store looks up and says, "We have Filipino ice cream." But I have never had Filipino ice cream, and I tell him that I like mochi better.

And now I'm at home sitting in a living room that is finally cool thanks to my new box fan (it had to be a box fan), reading the directions on the back of the box of "Golden Curry," and eating strawberry mochi.




Andrew, duh! said...

Ah yes, the classic S&B Curry. Keeping otherwise likely to starve Japanese singles (both guys and girls since it seems that an ever increasing number of girls here can't cook either!) fed since...1923, according to their website.
Given that you're a half Asian more than myself, you likely know this already, but rumor has it that the Saigon Market on Wade Hampton near BJU is the cheapest Asian grocer in town (at least, that's what my Japanese friends always told me). Isn't the owner of Oriental Imports Japanese? I seem to remember him being so (though I haven't been there since high school when I bought my wooden katana there).

Tiffany Anne said...

I usually don't go to Oriental Imports. If I'm looking to go to an Asian store, then there's a Filipino store on Woodruff, but I was just passing Oriental Market and decided to stop by. The little boy I take care of gets his hair cut at Doan's the barbershop right next to Saigon Market and always wants some Pho afterwards. :-)

And to be honest, I don't know if the guy was Japanese, Chinese, Korean, etc. I can't tell the difference!

Anonymous said...

It seems like everyone has more little adventures like that during the late spring, early summer months. Things like going to unfamiliar stores, buying new appliances, trying new things, etc. Might be the exuberance brought on by the beginning of another summer, or it might just be my imagination.

Andrew, duh! said...

As for differentiating between Asian...sub-variants (I know it's a rather dehumanizing term, but phenotypes didn't really fit here), I rely on accents and the words coming out of peoples mouths, since at best, I can say "Okay, this person is from China or Korea or Japan" or "This person is presumably from Southeast Asia".
BTW, when did you get into mochi? That's like something I've never ever heard of a non-Japanese (or at least non-Japanese who's not spent a while in Japan) liking. And strawberry mochi sounds...interesting, to say the least. I'll have to try one when I get back since I can pretty well guarantee I'll never find that in the wild here.

Tiffany Anne said...

My sister works at a sushi restaurant (Sushi Murasaki). They have mochi there and at O-cha.

Anonymous said...

Your sister is working as a waitress? I thought she said she wouldn't do that.

Tiffany Anne said...

True. But as far as I know, she's working at both Sushi Murasaki and Walgreens.

Anonymous said...

Ooh, how industrious of her! She's perfect.


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