Monday, July 6, 2009

I'm Being Oppressed

It has taken me less than 24 hours in the Anticipated States of Fulgencia to realize that the levels of oppression here are worse than ever.

Here's what happened .....

1. This morning I walked to the QFC for breakfast/lunch. I asked the woman in the deli which of the salads are vegan. "Oh," she said, "None of our salads are vegan."

Wow. What kind of nation is this, I wondered, where a poor wandering caravanista can't even find a vegan salad?

Luckily, with a little coaxing, the deli woman agreed to check the list of ingredients on the tabouli salad, and then on the fava bean salad which, I assured her, sure look vegan from my angle. And, after a rather confusion interaction with two clerks regarding my Odwalla Greens that were sale priced but that only applies if you have a special card but I don't need one because I'm just visiting from Canada, I enjoyed my vegan salads.

2. I tried to spend money at the massively huge Best Buy store which, I was assured by my United Statesian friends, would have the most choices for the cell phone and/or a wireless magic travelling devices I was considering to help my media work on this journey. And it was then I learned more of the horrid violation of human rights that results simply from being Canadian.

It exhorbitantedly expensive to make cell phone calls across our shared border. After some chatting with the nice young salesman, we concluded that the use of a phone card might alleviate the excessive cost of telephoning. Nothing, however, can be done to make amends for the violation of human rights that is the consequence of being an oppressed Canadian.

3. After returning to the house, and simultaneously attempting to configure both the new phone and the new wandering internet thingy, it was determined (thanks to Lisa's innate ability to read the small print) that the magic would not in fact be happening. Here in the land of Microsoft, it seems there will be no temporary wandering WiFi for the Mac user. I got a ride back to the Biggest Bestest Store and talked to my salesman friend. Nope, he said, my only option with a Mac is to buy a 2 year plan at $60 a month and I'm only eligible if I offer up a social security number and an American Driver's License.

It was then I realized --- I'm being oppressed not only for being Canadian, but additionally for being a Mac Owner who might dare to utter the word 'Mac' in the land of the Microsoft.

My favourite days don't typically involve spending a lot of time running back and forth to Massively Big Stores and Malls, particularly when not much has been accomplished by it. My dream of updating the blog from the bus while gallivanting through the southern desert now dead, I'm left only with fond and entertaining memories of the day .....

While wandering through the mall, which extended along much of the half mile route that I was to wander on my return journey to Tom and Judy's, I saw a sign advertising special shoes that actually enhance one's walking experience. Instead of getting whatever meagre benefit from simply walking, one can purchase this new (no doubt made in China) footwear, and actually get more exercise than when simply walking in any other shoe. Again, I feel that, as a Canadian, I am being denied the basic human right to spend more money on another pair of shoes, and the added advantage of a more physically, and perhaps spiritually and psychologically demanding walking experience.

Also in the mall is a kiosk selling electronic cigarettes. With half the nicotine of regular cigarettes, and none of the tar or other nasty stuff, smokers can battery charge their fags and slowly reduce their nicotine input through the simple setting of a dial. And, they look just like the real thing. The man selling them told me he enjoys his electronic cigarettes with a setting of zero.

God Bless Ameri ...... ur, I mean (it having recently been brought to my attention that America is much bigger than merely the middle bit) .... and then there's the confusion because I don't believe in God ....

Good Grief, Charlie Brown.