I have nothing very interesting to write about this evening, but since my beloved grandmother has asked that I please not “let her down”, I will post a short update.
Today, I attended a conference for trainers up here in Seattle. I really enjoyed listening to the keynote speaker at 8:30, the same person’s mid-morning talk, and then a few other afternoon sessions led by different speakers (where we discussed how to onboard new employees, keep them engaged during training, and adapt to the changing paces and media content of classes).
After the conference, I followed Google Maps to a nearby vintage clothing store: Bon Voyage.
I stepped inside and was immediately taken by the ambiance of the store. I leafed through an intimately small collection of racks, each of them featuring all kinds of treasures, and selected a few items to try on. Of the four, one fit perfectly: a black and copper dress with a fun (and cool) fringed hemline.
“Ohhhhhhh, I just loooooooove that dress,” an employee raved as I neared the checkout register.
“Thank you!” I smiled at her. “I love daleks — you know, in Doctor Who? — and the copper ones are my favorite, and THIS dress is black and copper,” I explained, realizing, halfway through my reply, that her compliment didn’t really necessitate an explanation.
“Ahhhhh, yes,” she murmured kindly, quickly stepping past me.
The other girl who rung me up (and who I assume owns the store) was also very kind, and she was also very excited.
“My mom just flew in from Norway!” she cheered, lifting her shoulders up to her ears and cracking a grin. “And I’m charging you $14 for this dress instead of $16, because four people tried it on today, and you’re the one it fit,” she said.
“Oh wow — thank you so much!” I gushed, surprised.
At that moment in time, I may or may not have knelt down and noticed slash purchased something cute within the glass display case that I knew my best friend who may or may not read this blog post would like.
“Ahhhhhh — yesssssss… I was JUST crushing on this thing a few minutes ago,” the store owner may or may not have said, sighing as she may or may not have unlocked the cabinet and reached her arm inside of it.
After quietly exiting the store, I went on the hunt (as only a vegetarian can) for dinner, meandering down the dimly-lit streets by Elliott Bay and carefully side-stepping an upturned cardboard plate, a packet of condoms, forty seven crushed cigarettes and the absolute loveliest red and orange and yellow leaves. The leaves, at least, were nice to look at. A fall wind had been sweeping up and down the streets all day long — tickling my neck, blowing through my hair, and playing with the plastic bag in my hand — and as it continued carrying on into the evening, it just felt extra magical.
As I walked, I noticed tents everywhere — erected behind buildings, tucked into alleys, and even located right off of the highway. I saw a woman lean out of one of them and ask a man to light her cigarette; I looked away.
The streets smelled like weed, urine, and – sometimes – laundry detergent. I stepped across them quickly.
As far as dinner was concerned, I wasn’t very hungry; I’d had Indian food for lunch and it had been so tasty that I’d eaten nearly half of the portion they’d given me. It had also been a bit pricier than I’d expected, so I wanted to offset its costs with a cheap dinner.
I’ll just duck into a grocery store and grab a few things, I decided.
I asked Google Maps where I could find a grocery store, crossing my fingers that a Whole Foods would be nearby, but the closest place was not a Whole Foods. It was, however, becoming much darker outside than I was comfortable with, so I went with it anyways.
When I stepped into the store, it appeared to be a mom-and-pop-shop type of deal… disorderly, offering a myriad of things, and with a distinctly homey feel to it.
Let’s see… cheap and easy…
After approximately seven minutes of perusing, I decided to purchase the following:
- a 16-ounce bottle of Smart Water,
- a 12-ounce bottle of Virgil’s Root Beer Zero,
- a .75-ounce wedge of cheese (three-bite-sized), and
- a 15-ounce jar of chunky, mild salsa.
This should be like eight bucks, I estimated (as none of the items were marked with a price tag).
“11.57,” the cashier announced.
Fuckin hell, I thought to myself, handing the man my Discover card.
“Can do Visa instead, yes?”
“Sure,” I replied. You’ve already jacked your prices up like mad, but if me swiping a Visa card will get you a little more interchange income, I’m happy to do it.
So I lugged my light, brown paper bag back to the hotel and stepped into an elevator. A woman joined me, and as I waited for us to arrive to the 11th floor, I noticed a Whole Foods shopping bag in her right hand.
“Hey — how far away was Whole Foods?” I asked her, nodding towards the bag.
“About a fifteen minute walk!” she smiled.
I exited the elevator, swiped a card to unlock the door to my room, shed my cool kid, red denim pants onto the floor and then began my merry little feast.
Sidebar: IN ALL FAIRNESS, the cost of living is higher in Seattle than it is in Bham, making $11.57 not THAT big of a deal. I just like to rant, is all. 🙂