22 September 2006

There's Best Western, And Then There's Great Western

Moving into a new neighborhood is like being an explorer in a foreign land; there are countless new places to explore, new experiences to be had, new neighbors to meet. Allow me to impart with you a few quirks we've discovered about our new area of residence...

We live less than one block from a Vietnamese church which, every Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, lines the street with the cars of local church-goers. You would think it odd that there is such a huge population of Vietnamese in the area...until you see Phu Lam Beauty Supply and Ho Chi Mihn (or some such name like that I can't pronounce, much less type) Specialty Food just around the corner.

Every morning when I drive to and from work, I pass an E-Z Stop. The sign reads "Food. Beer. Gas"...but I have yet to locate the gas pump.

I also pass a high school and an elementary school daily, an occurance which always fills me with great nostalgia. To see those little kids scamper out of blue minivans personalized with "Funky Town" or green Mustangs with souped-up mufflers and across the crosswalk with their oversized backpacks flopping in their wake, it just does something for me.

When I return from work each day, usually around the time that school children scamper from their classrooms, I pass a Hispanic man with a limp who peddles ice cream sandwiches from a hand-painted cart. I never see any children buying ice cream from him, but I hope his business is doing well.

Our route to church takes us past several very interesting places of business: The Dude Motel, with its dated neon sign, and a fortune teller whose sign reads "Psychic Readings Solve All Problems." We'll have to see how the problem solving works out. There's also The Wisdom Center, telechurch extraordinaire. The local pawn shop need not be overlooked, with it's advertised "shut gun sale." A former Taco Bueno has been turned into Go Go China, a fine eating establishment which my husband declares we must try. He must try, he.

The nearby Super Wal-Martis also worth mentioning, where almost everything is in Spanish. You almost expect the cashier to wear a button that says "I Speak English."

$5 pizzas at Little Caesar's, conveniently located next to Super Wal-Mart, have become a staple of our newlywed diet.

The other night as we were returning from Target, we noticed a Great Western Inn. I asked my husband if he thought it was a step up from Best Western, or down. Apparently, I have my superlatives confused.

Our neighbors are not short of fascinating: there is a retired contractor who lives across the street (with whom my husband has quickly become a close friend -- and tool-borrowing buddy) with his oversized wiener dog and blind German wife who, amazingly enough, still cooks for him. To the west, there is a never-ending cycle of people flowing from the house, and we're not exactly sure who lives there or whose dogs are defecating on our front lawn. To the east lives a lady in her late sixties who sells canaries in McDonald's parking lots. Down the street there is a house with a giant Christmas-lighted star still perched atop its roof. In the other direction is a Pepto pink house with kelly green shutters.

I wonder, what will our quirky contribution be to the neighborhood?


Melanie Knox said...

Maybe Clay can build a canoe in the front yard and you can sit in it and either row or read a book.

Cole said...

Or, maybe you can sell ferrets at Burger King.