Imagine a store where everything is delicious and available for sampling. Imagine over two hundred kinds of cheese, vinegar aged one hundred years, marshmallows freshly made on site, breads and meats stacked from floor to ceiling.
Somehow the charm of this little Ann Arbor deli distracted me from the piles of animal legs (whole legs, hoofs included) stacked in one corner. I mean, I saw them, sure, but they did little to put the kibosh on my general state of giddiness and wonder. So much cheese. And they had this dude whose entire job was to be an expert on oil and vinegar. There were six dishes of each sitting out for tasting, with little squares of bread, but then we were informed that the entire store was available for tasting! Vinegar that's in a locked cabinet, worth $250 for eight ounces? Try some! As we were handed our tiny plastic spoons with this vinegar-gold, I prayed that I would like it, or at least that I wouldn't have an instantaneous (and uncontrollable) BLECH reaction. It was sweet. Good, I can comment positively on sweet. But, gracious, $250? They also had jam that costs $50. I will not shop here if go to Michigan.
As for the Countries of the World Project (let's name it, shall we?), I got stuck on Brazil. Guys, bossa nova! So good. Also, I skipped Botswana. I dunno what happened...maybe it's because I started working. Well, Botswana and Brunei something, I will return! I feel like for Botswana I should go to the zoo. Or eat mangoes. I guess this is a premature evaluation, for I haven't even read the wikipedia article yet.
You know how people get really good at things they've practice and then they say they could do it their sleep? And it's usually something impressive, right, like reciting a poem, or baking a cake or changing a diaper or something. Well, I rendered myself incapacitated in my sleep. I jerked my head up, causing a fiery pain to shoot from my shoulder up to the base of my head. I laid still for ten minutes or so and at some point reached for my pillow, which caused pain to increase. I've been sleeping on an air mattress for the past month, occasionally on the floor or love seats, and never had any pain. And now that I'm home in my comfy bed, this. At least I wasn't sleep eating, like Liz Lemon, which is chronic. And at least I'm unemployed and had nothing really to do today. Except celebrate Belgium. Belgium!
I already celebrated Belgium once, but I'd hate to break up the B's. Plus I was getting tired of these Caribbean countries, mocking us with their warmth. Since I was immobile for the day, I figured I'd watch an Audrey Hepburn movie, since she was born in Belgium. The Unforgiven was on TV, conveniently, so I submitted to two hours of pain on top of already present pain. What a pointless movie. I assumed that because it Audrey Hepburn it would be a little bit funny and mostly light-hearted. Well in this one, she plays an American Indian (apparently that just requires really long hair) who makes out with her adopted brother (which is gross, doesn't matter that they're not blood relatives), kills a bunch of her blood family, and some guy gets hung (hanged?) for no real reason. What a freakin downer. What gives, Audrey?
I am still unable to move my neck. Time to find a terrible movie about Belize.
Here's some footage of the capital city, Bridgetown. It looks awfully pleasant, especially compared to snowpocalyptic DC.
Fun fact: Barbados is home to the first world champion Segway Polo team, the Flyin' Fish. Shockingly, the Fish are dominated by the white dudes.
Unfortunately, I couldn't find any footage of the Flyin' Fish in action, but in my searching I did learn that Prince Harry recently fell off his pony in a charity real-polo match there. It was big news. (Alarmed British coverage.)
When I first came across Osiris, through a random search of Bahrain on soulseek, I thought there was no way Bahraini prog rock would be good. I stand corrected. I love this. I loved it before I saw the video. I love it more after. Osiris is the best. Bahrain, turns out, is also the best, at least when it comes to women's rights in the Middle East.
It's blizzarding in DC and so I've been watching a lot more tv than normal. In flipping channels yesterday, I landed on the Biggest Loser, and have found it a fully satisfying, entertaining, fascinating and emotional way to spend 80+ minutes. I, like much of America, hate the red team, pull for the yellow team, and was horrified when they separated the "Half Ton Twins." But apparently SOME people find something wrong with "exploiting" America's obese. Josh, always the nay-sayer, brought to my attention the harmful ramifications of such quick extreme weight loss. Fine. Still enjoy it. As one contestant put it, he has to lose a fat person within him and then he is still a fat person! (By that, he meant that he had to lose 220 or so pounds...and that he would still be 250 pounds.) Wow!
Anyway, in honor of no longer having a DC internship, I have decided to go back to celebrating the countries of the world. And not just the obese people within those countries. I have invited friends to participate, so hopefully they will! This week we start with the letter B. Here is the schedule:
Saturday: Bahamas Sunday: Bahrain Monday: Bangladesh Tuesday: Barbados Wednesday: Belarus Thursday: Belgium (I already sorta did this one before, but I think we should stick to the order) Friday: Belize
Here are some ideas for celebrating: 1. Read the country's wikipedia entry. 2. Change your Gmail so that it is in the language of the country. 3. Wear the country's national colors. 4. Eat the traditional foods of the country. 5. Listen to music of the country (usually involves wikipediaing music of that country and the youtubing or soulseeking). 6. Watch a movie either set in that country or from that country. 7. Google news that country to see what's going on there now. 8. Tell people fun facts you've learned about that country. Try to slip it in to normal conversation. 9. Post on the blog fun, easily digestible facts about the country. 10. Reading a book or poem from that country. 11. Learn the national anthem of that country. 12. Learn to count in the language of that country. 13. Learn how to say funny phrases in the language of that country. 14. Think about the relative size of that country with wonder. 15. checking Kayak.com to see how much it would cost to visit that country 16. Make an online friend from that country. 17. If you already have a friend from that country, send them an ecard! 18. Pick a role model from that country. Ask yourself what that person would do throughout the day.