Monday, January 12, 2009

Cultural Divide

We're shopping for groceries in Corpus Christi, Texas, right outside
Padre Island National Seashore (well, about 20 miles outside, but
everything here in Texas is relatively big).

My buggy bumps bumpers with one being used by a young Hispanic who's
focused more on the quality of the Roma tomatoes than he is on me.

"Excuse me," I apologize. He glances up, smiles and scoots his buggy
closer to the melons. About that time, five or six more young
Hispanics descend on the buggy, unloading their finds: avocados,
onions, cucumbers, mangoes, pineapples and more avocados. They
disperse as quickly as they arrive, all but the one who is
still grading the Romas, smelling them, testing them for firmness. Already
he has about 15 in a bag.

I pick out the two I want and stroll away. I peak over my shoulder;
he's still buying tomatoes. His cart brims with the natural goodness.

About three aisles over, I find a trio of young men who look and act
like college guys from Penn State. One transforms the buggy into a
scooter; another dunks his find into the cart like a basketball.

Their fare? White bread, mayonnaise, bologna, individually wrapped
American cheese, chips, dip and Coke. All processed foods, packed with preservatives, salt, chemicals and other unhealthy stuff.

I know whose house I'd like to eat at tonight.