A Trip to Lucky

By Elizabeth

I braved Lucky on a Saturday evening. I have a love-hate relationship with Lucky. For one, I am very thankful there’s even a grocery store here and I am fully funded and can shop at it. That I love. But the experience of Lucky is something I could do without.

I fill my CVS-size shopping cart to the brim while people stare and point. They touch Faith and laugh when she cringes. The carts don’t maneuver well when empty, and certainly not when full. Many items are not in English, or only partly in English, so finding what you want is tough, and deciding how many to get is tougher. About halfway through my list, my brain stops working. I am already pretty embarrassed that I’m white. Additionally I have a full cart (Cambodians tend to go to the market daily and buy less). It’s only enough food for a family of 6 big eaters for one week, though. I branch out this week to the produce section. Every other time I am too exhausted after picking out the staples. . . Next week I might foray into beef and chicken.

At the very end, with Faith whining at the bananas I squeezed into her seat, and with people staring at me, I pick up my last item — the kind of mop and bucket my house helper needs. I push the overflowing cart with one hand, and pull the rolling bucket and mop with the other, through impossibly narrow aisles to the checkout counter, where I hope and pray Jonathan Trotter is done with his shopping elsewhere in the mall. He has the cash, you see. He arrives, I avoid crying for the time being. A total of 4 ladies help me at this point. When the cashier can’t find the price on the cheese, another emplyee runs to the refridgerator section, and when she returns with the price, speaking in Khmer, they all laugh hysterically. Jonathan pays, and we leave.

When we arrive home, after unloading and getting the kids a snack b/c it is now past bedtime (meaning Jonathan had to drive in the dark which is always stressful), we discover the source of the ant problem I’ve had this week. Ants in my precious brown rice (have I mentioned whole grains are hard to find here??). Plus some other creepy looking critter. So I cry, “mommy, mommy, mommy,” and I’m not sure if I’m talking about myself or my own mother. We clean out the pantry and dump the rice container, which is obviously not airtight. I take care of the mess while Jonathan reads Narnia to the kids.

What a day.

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