Wednesday, March 22, 2006

All About Florida

After a string of crappy rental cars, including several “Cavaliers” (the name of which aptly describes the engineering behind them), I was delighted yesterday to wind up with a nice little Toyota Carolla. Not just any Carolla, either—one with mahogany-trimmed dash and doors. Who knew they made such a thing? Looks kind of silly, to tell you the truth.

Last night SofE and I went driving across to Tampa for dinner, looking for some area called “Y-Borg”, which she believed to be “Little Havana”. I had forgotten that SofE does not believe in navigating by maps, generally, and prefers to sort of sniff her way to a destination. So most of the drive consisted of cruising around distinctly non-Little-Havana looking neighborhoods, looking at business signs, and shouting out things like “ ‘F-U-R-N-I-T-U-R-E’! That’s a Spanish word! ‘POOLS, SPAS, AND SAUNAS’—that’s definitely Spanish!” etc.

Miraculously, though, we did finally stumble across a Cuban restaurant, in between a Wallgreens and a Circle K. The waiter/proprietor actually appeared likely to be Cuban. The black bean soup was delicious, but, unfortunately, they were fresh out of fresh coconut juice.

This morning I woke up on the wrong side of the street. Went to shave, discovered I had forgotten a razor, and resolved to go across the “street” to the big chain supermarket to buy one. Then I discovered that SofE had taken the pimped-out Carolla to the gym. Suddenly, I understood Florida. The supermarket is visible from the motel room door—but clearly, driving was the only safe way to get there. Walking involved crossing six lanes of traffic, with four additional turning lanes, and crossing several (probably coral-snake-infested) areas of swampy scrub. But, I also wanted soy milk, so I did it.

I won’t tell you the name of the big chain supermarket, but it’s an amusing amalgamation of the words “pubic”, “lice”, and "nix". Why anyone would name their big chain supermarket thus, I can’t imagine.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Johanna said...

"Walking involved crossing six lanes of traffic, with four additional turning lanes, and crossing several (probably coral-snake-infested) areas of swampy scrub. But, I also wanted soy milk, so I did it."

It's an ad campaign for soy milk that would work on me, I guess.
But wait... the people willing to walk are the ones who probably don't need that much convincing to not point at soy milk, wrinkle their nose, and say "ew". Just a hunch.

3/22/06, 12:23 PM  
Blogger Katinka said...

(Maps? What are they?)

3/22/06, 3:08 PM  
Blogger charlsiekate said...

I love Tampa! Did you make it to Ybor city? You should try again if you didn't! The best cuban restaurant is called Columbia and it is a local chain scattered about the tampa bay area - but Ybor city has one. Ybor city is like a little bourbon street - like River Street in Savannah or Beale Street in Memphis - except instead of specializing in candy or blues the speciality is cigars.

When I was little and we were in Florida at the beach we would always go to that grocery store chain. Now we have them in georgia and they don't seem as special - but they started in Tampa and always give you sample at the deli and the bakery.

3/24/06, 10:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Said grocery store was named after an old movie theatre in the area, or so goes the legend that they tell their (un?)fortunate employees during orientation.

And we still give out free samples.

2/8/08, 11:19 PM  

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