8/12/08

TOURIST!

Do you remember this post? The one where you guys voted and decided to send me to The Crosstown Farmer's Market? The one held on Saturday? The one day when all my kids have sporting events? The one day maybe I can sleep in? The one I begged you to send me to, because I never had been? Got your attention now? Too many questions?

I finally went but before I get to that. Let's set the scene, shall we? It's important. I have an uncanny ability to blend in where ever I go. If we are in Crate and Barrel, Target, Williams and Sonoma...where ever I am people ask me if I can help them, I guess I look like I work there. If we are someplace, people ask me for directions, places to eat. You get the idea. Remember this.

So are you ready to go on an adventure?

Camera. ✓
Canvas bags, you know I'm trying to save the world here.✓
List. ✓

Let's hop in the car and go. Tour Guide Barbie is going to lead the way.

"Hello, everyone. Are all our trays in an upright position? Cell phones are off? Good. Today we are going to the Crosstown Farmers Market. It's called the Crosstown because it takes place underneath Stockton's Crosstown Freeway, which is actually Highway Four that connects two of California's major thoroughfares, Interstate 5 and Highway 99. As you can see, it goes through the middle of downtown Stockton. As we pull up to our destination you will notice... Excuse me. Miss, is there a problem?"

"Oh goddamn it, I forgot my battery to my camera! How in the hell am I suppose to take pictures if I don't have a flipping battery?"

"Ma'am. If you don't calm down, we will have to arrest you. The FAA does not take kindly to..."

"Well, it doesn't matter now does it? I have readers who expect pictures! What do I do now?"

"Ma'am, let's calm down and think this through. You said you were a writer. Why don't you just describe everything to them and come back next Saturday to take some pictures. Let's not ruin everyone else's trip with your hysterics. Now as I about to say, in 2007 Saveur magazine ranked Stockton's Crosstown Farmers Market number one in their top one hundred things beating out Thomas Keller."

*snort*

"Ma'am? Do you have another problem?"

"I just want to know how anything can beat Thomas Keller? I mean it's Thomas Keller, for christ's sake. This is Stockton. Stock-ton. Hello? Do you even live in this town? Graffiti everywhere. Crime is non-stop. A full jail. Homeless digging through my trash. The city who gave a 2 million dollars, tax breaks, and property to a well known restaurateur but shut down it's Senior Meal On Wheels? We have something that good in our city?"

"Ma'am, get off the bus and take a look for yourself."

I do and it's dark, loud. You can feel the vibration from the cars whooshing over your head. You also hear every dialect of the Asian language. Chinese, Vietnamese, Cambodian. It's packed. I felt like I was in a big city, people arguing over prices, haggling. You can smell chilies, spicy hot mixed with a very faint fishy smell. You walk around and the fish smell gets stronger and stronger and stronger until you see it. Tables of fish. Fish heads, crawdads, striped bass, and many others all laid out on ice. Then you see the live chickens for sale and I realized I'm not at an ordinary Farmers Market. This is serious.

I go around and buy grapes, nectarines, peaches, pears, chilies, onions, baby bok choy, plums, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers. I'm buying enough for 6 people for a week and I haven't even spent twenty dollars. I'm in love. Then it happens...

I go to buy a box of tomatoes for six dollars. There are dreams of spaghetti sauce, fresh salsa, and pickled tomatoes and then the farmer who is going to sell me the box goes..."So Tourist, how do you like our farmer's market?"

WHAT!!!!

"That's funny being called a tourist when I live in town." I shot back.

Laughter all around. The funny thing is Katie and I were the only white people at the farmer's market and I'm whiter than a slice of Wonder Bread.

Krysta is so white...

How white is she?

Krysta is so white that she cannot pronounce Fiddy Cent she always pronounces it... Fif-ty Cent.

In the middle of my own hometown I was called a tourist. I remember my husband, Tony, that's Mr. Bourdain to you, saying something like, 'If you eat in a restaurant in a foreign country and everyone looks like you then you're not in the right place. Go where you are the different one.' I did that in my own home. How cool is that?

20 comments:

Not Afraid to Use It said...

That is really funny! I wish I had been there to shop with you. I just went to an Asian grocery store this past weekend and was the only white chick in there. I definitely got some strange looks. But I got my seaweed, so it was all good.

Rebecca (Foodie With Family) said...

That sounds like soooooo much fun. I love farmers markets and I love being odd-girl out- so that sounds like a grand time to me!

Whatcha making with all those goodies?

KitchenKiki said...

oooohhhhhhhhh I love shopping adventures! That one sounds like a winner!

melissa said...

Fo sho, mah nizzle.

I mean... that is totally cool! I love going into all the authentic Viet or Japanese or Korean restaurants here and being the only white chick. At least I know I'm getting the good food.

I'm jealous of your shopping adventure. I needs to find me a market near here.

Cheryl said...

You make my day! you are soo funny. We would get along like fiends, I have every 50 cent CD!

noble pig said...

Ah Bourdain words to live by! That is so funny...I forgot about that whole Farmer's Market thing! Glad you finally made it sans the camera!

melly~ said...

I'll have to ask my mom and cousin if they've ever been to the market - one lives in Lodi and ther other in Galt.

Good writing.

But you and I are going to have to have words about this Mr. Bordain. I just admitted to myself the other day that I might love him. Anyone that sees a gorgeous glacier in New Zealand and can only cry over the irony of having no gin, well, that's the man for me. :)

Came to find the deadline for the next ho-down. I'm -in-.

She who said...

Too funny. But aren't you whiter than a fresh hunk of crusty French bread. Much tastier that way.

Lisa said...

How cool is that? Very cool, lol. I say Fifty Cents. I'm not even cool enought to say Cent. I say Cents. I embarrass the children, that's why we stay home a lot.

Kristin said...

I have to say that if you having your camera battery would have resulted in multiple photos of dead fish, I'm okay with you forgetting it. I do not dig dead fish, despite dealing with them myself from time to time. Gag.

Caroline said...

Ha! That is great! I just took some pics of tomatoes...posted all about them today (not as good as your pics, though!). I especially love your quote on being whiter than wonder bread!

Grace said...

what a lovely little nugget from the bourdain archives--the man's undeniably brilliant, and you sure are lucky to have married him. :)

Tom Aarons said...

How cool is that? Very cool indeed! What a wonderful story!

melissa said...

What a great Blog. We live in the sticks of Maine. We have farmer's markets but not like yours! I'm jelous....
I can't even say fiddy cent right.
Not my kind of music but our 20 year old likes him.

Mental P Mama said...

Our farmer's market is highway robbery. And I can't say fiddy right, either.

Mrs. L said...

What a great adventure! No farmers markets like that here in San Jose. I do go into the Japanese market in Japantown and have fun trying to ask customers what things are.

Sarah said...

How fun! A vacation without the security screening and long flight :) This is a great reminder that we all have places that are new and different, right here in our hometowns. I'll have to find my mini-vacation place this weekend!

Kerry said...

Oh, my! Well, that is pretty darn funny.

I'm hosting a "Farmer's Market Report" Mr. Linky. Maybe you'd like to submit this post? Come on over and check it out!http://toeverymeal.blogspot.com/2008/08/farmers-market-report-aug-16th.html

Kerry said...

Thanks for your submission to the Farmer's Market Report! I'll have the next Report up at 10am on this Sat. - Aug 23rd. Hope to see you again!

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