Monday, March 29, 2004
This morning I had a craving for a very particular green pea soup from a very particular Eastern European shop in a neighbourhood very far from me. This soup is astoundingly delicious and worth the one-hour walk (beats the alternative: several modes of public transit that take almost as long as walking). It is flavourful and nummy and I buy it sparingly so that it remains special, ie. I don’t get sick of it. What’s the secret ingredient? Flavour. It’s not at all like the bland lumpy green muck the usually passes for pea soup (no links to “The Exorcist” – too obvious. Well, maybe just one).
I love going to buy it because it’s on that stretch of Queen between University and Ossington that reminds me of when I used to live in Montreal and, aside from work, university, and the odd date or party, I hung out almost exclusively on St-Laurent between Ste-Catherine and Fairmount. Both streets have a sort of dirty class I like, with art galleries next to hardware shops next to shmancy restaurants next to fabric stores. It makes me feel all fuzzy and nostalgic to walk down Queen West.
I also like going there because of that very rustic service you only find in authentic delis, Eastern European shops, and the city of New York:
Snobby - practically perfect in every way
Shopkeeper woman - 50ish with big, super-bleached hair, blue eye shadow to her eyebrows, magenta blush, and a glossy leopard-print scarf wrapped around her neck
Snobby: Excuse me. Can you tell me the difference between goulash soup and Serbian goulash soup?
Shopkeeper: Why you not read label? Serbian goulash is not soup. Serbian goulash is meal. Goulash soup is soup. That is difference.
Snobby: Um...I see. You forgot to tell me how stupid I am and to wish me a nice day.
Shopkeeper woman: (evil, slightly seductive little smile) Give me $9.40.
It’s a refreshing change from the oppressively hyper-polite service bad managers think people like that you usually get in this city.
And now I have pea soup and goulash and I swear that I see buds on the tree right outside my window.
| | Link