Remember that part in Toy Story where Mr. Potato Head, Hamm, and Slinky Dog cruise around Al's Toy Barn looking for Buzz with Tour Guide Barbie at the wheel? Well, that was me a few weeks ago. Except we weren't in a toy store, we were in one of the world's biggest cities. And I wasn't giving tours to cowboys and piggy banks but to some American friends that came in town. And I'm not made of plastic nor are my feet sporting the perma-high heel wedge. But all of these things are beside the point...
My tutor Anita (who also happens to be one of my best friends here) and I took a three-hour train from our city to the Big City where our friends were flying in from the states. Their flight didn't come in until nearly ten (which in reality ended up being nearly eleven) so we had some time to kill. I took her to my current Big City favorite spots--TGI Fridays and the import grocery store!
Now this place is certainly no HEB or Kroger but it makes my familiar-food-loving-rice-overloaded heart (or stomach rather) go pitter-patter (or perhaps "Feed me, feed me!!" if we're going with the stomach theme) at the sight of all the familiar and yummy food. I walked Anita up and down every aisle and gave her commentary on everything I could think of:
"This is Honey Bunches of Oats, my favorite cereal in America but I only buy it here on special occasions."
"This is Chef Boyardee, a staple for busy moms with kids to feed."
"This is Kraft Mac & Cheese. Somehow a package of orange powder magically turns into cheese when large quantities of butter & milk are added."
"This is turkey deli meat, my all-time favorite. This one especially only gets purchased on special occasions because it's nearly 10 USD for a meager box."
"This is Spam, I'm not sure what it is or why people eat it."
With a suitcase full of my must-haves (this is how we grocery shop around here--with empty suitcases!) and a Dr. Pepper for Anita, we headed to Friday's for lunch.
After picking up our friends at the airport, we spent the night at the luxurious Holiday Inn (note: I am not using luxurious sarcastically! After some of the hotel beds I've slept on here (otherwise known as plywood!), I'd come back to this hotel anyday!)
The next day was a busy one. The Great Wall of...ummm...Asia, a famous city square, and a five-story tourist shopping place. But since this was my third time to visit all of these places, I was more excited about visiting Subway for dinner!
Once we were back home, we spent the next week showing our friends around the city and meeting people. After a tiring ten days, our friends went back to the Big City to fly back over the big ocean.
So if anyone else is in the mood for a 24 plane ride, I'll pick you up at the airport and show you the town: TGI Fridays, import grocery stores, and Subway Sandwiches! If you're lucky, I'll even take you to that big, boring wall.