The New Store in Town
Wow is all I have to say. Seriously. Wow.
Now, to the rest of you, to whom I may sound like just another a blabbering girly girl hyped up over something insignificant, I say “whatever.” With the kindest smile, of course. 🙂
Today, Brook and I had a few hours to kill between lessons and decided our time would be best spent checking out a new store on the other end of town. It just opened on Wednesday, and we decided (after the last Grand Opening we tried to attend) it would be better to wait a few days until the curious crowd died down a little bit. Even better, we decided midday would cut down on the masses even more. Yes, this plan worked, and off we went to check out this place called Makro just outside of the city.
Makro, for those of you who don’t know, is a more simplified Thai equivalent to Sam’s Club. They sell many items in bulk (cooking oils, snacks, some fresh produce, etc.) at a discounted price, and shoppers are asked to have a membership card. This week, they’re letting people in without a card though, so they can start shopping and get hooked on it first. Ha. I’ve heard about these stores, and driven by them many times during the course of the past year, but had never been inside one.
I was in sheer awe of their produce section and frozen items, the dairy case (yes, there was a dairy case!!!!!) and the bakery. I don’t expect any of you to understand, but after living in our city for a year, lacking many food items that I’ve been accustomed to having for the past 25 years, this place about made me cry. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love Thai food! But, it’s nice to have something more familiar every once in a while, ya know?
So, what did I see that I haven’t seen before (well, sometimes in Bangkok, but not in Lopburi)?? Massive blocks of cheese (one mozzarella, one white cheddar, one yellow Australian cheddar, one gouda and one parmesean)! Real sour cream! Ground beef, frozen pizza dough, yellow corn tortillas, dried bay leaves, Canadian bacon in chunk form, Prego spaghetti sauce, both black and green canned olives, lasagna noodles, Granny Smith apples, balsamic vinegar, real navel oranges, fresh strawberries, lemons (very rare), real sweet corn, frozen blueberries (berries are pretty non-existent here), frozen spinach (oh my goodness!), and both red & white wine vinegars. It took most of the power I have within me to resist grabbing some of everything and shoving it in my cart as we walked the store (though it did help reminding myself that it was all a bit expensive on our Thai budget, and these sort of things would have to limited to an infrequent “treats” basis. Ha!). I simply could not believe my eyes.
But the biggest thing to me, the thing that made my eyes well up with tears for some inexplicable reason, was celery. Real, fat, bright green, large bunched, crispy, refreshing, glorious celery. I have been wanting for this simple pleasure for a year now – chicken salad just isn’t the same, egg salad lacks that fabulous crunch, peanut butter is lonely without it… and today I found it. I’m not kidding about how happy I was to pick it up, see the stamp from California, and take it to be weighed. And it wasn’t too expensive either! Only about $1.00 US for a good sized bunch. I was like a little kid proudly carrying a new toy around throughout the store. I just couldn’t stop smiling.
I know, I know. I’m a silly girl. But, it’s those little things in life that help refresh this girl when day to day life in Thailand gets to be just a little bit too much. That celery made my day. I ate a few sticks with peanut butter for lunch, and I made the most delightful chicken salad for supper. It was wonderful.
What’s one of your “little things” that can cheer you up or make everything all better?