Saturday, February 4, 2012

A Stinky Bus Averted

Well well well if it isn't old February, the month where diet is still the hot topic. And I’m no exception to that trend. I too am talking about diet and everyone seems to be eager consumers of my wisdom. So today, on this beautiful January day I decided it would be quaint to take the bus downtown and go shopping at the famed Asian store, Uwijimaya. I hopped on a bus and away I went!

Well, was I in luck - I just happened to bounce right onto the bus that had quite possibly the friendliest bus driver in the great state of Washington (and beyond). I asked him if his bus went to the International District and he said “Sure does. Guilty as charged! Hop on ma'am!” He then proceeded to make small talk with me, asking me what I was up to that day, where I was going and if I was a local or from out of town. He even told me about a not-so-secret restaurant that makes their own prosciutto that is owned by Mario Bertelli’s father and that I have to go there, but don’t go there on a Friday - it’s too busy - they’re closed on Mondays - but Tuesday is a good day, not so crowded. I have to say, it’s not often that one meets a chatty and friendly city bus driver while navigating the streets of a big city.

Mr. Bus Driver happily (and he really was happy) directed me to my stop - Uwijimaya. I got there and was greeted by smells from all over Asia - Korean barbecue, Japanese Sushi, Beijing beef and Panang Curry. I encountered a sturdy wok and entertained the idea of getting it for myself. But, I resisted as I did not want to carry it home on the bus.

Then I wandered over to the seafood section where I watched live tilapia swim about in a crowded cloudy tank “Poor fish,” I thought “they don’t know they’re going to be on a dinner plate covered in coconut milk and lime juice.” If I found out I was going to be on a dinner plate covered in coconut milk and lime juice, I’d be slightly startled. I watched some crabs swimming and noted that they were on a super sale. I didn’t get any because I did not want to stink like fresh crab on the bus ride home. What I really intended to buy was seaweed. I wondered to myself where the aisle with seaweed might be, but then I saw a big sign that said “seaweed,” and I thought to myself “I know I am in an Asian store when there is a big sign announcing the existence of seaweed.” Who else does that?

I bought four packs of seaweed and other Asian odds and ends. Enough stuff to fit in a small bag and still be carried easily and comfortably on public transport. Away I went from bustling downtown Seattle where there is a Starbucks on every corner and tall skyscrapers grazing the sky. Off I went back to my humble abode to enjoy my loot on the bus.

Please take this as a friendly reminder not to overshop when you’re riding the bus. You may be tempted to buy several large live tilapias, crabs, lobsters and a big sturdy wok to fry them up in. However, you will quickly find yourself in a state of distress when carrying it on a bus whilst simultaneously stinking up the vehicle. Be vigilant dear friend.