At first, I’m not sure what to say

I wander through the produce section, and it all feels foreign

but familiar at the same time.

Perhaps it’s the four-odd years’ absence from these stores that has made my heart grow. I’m awestruck, at what is here, in front of me.

Almost ripe, immaculate avocados, impossibly perfect hothouse tomatoes, three (!) kinds of kale, the biggest, orangest, juiciest looking oranges I’ve seen in a couple years.

It’s out of context because I’ve been out of context.

This abundance that I’d previously taken for granted, it stares me in the face and hits me between the eyes.

we have so much

Malaysian Ronny Chieng, like all great comedians, captures the absurdity. His amazing (NSFW, btw) take comes to mind as I navigate the choices of onions (there are 5, because of course there are 5).

We are breaking the laws of reality with the abundance

He opines, hitting so close to the mark.

I pause briefly to gape in wonder, finishing my turn through this impossible collection of plants become food

And round the corner to the rice aisle

Only to see the handwritten sign

Out of consideration for shortages and other customers, please limit rice purchases to one bag

And I gape, once again, this time

at the empty shelves

Published by Radutti

Teaching in Ha Noi, screwing things up daily but surviving to write about it. ...everything's perfectly all right now. We're fine. We're all fine here now, thank you. How are you?

Join the Conversation


  1. I wonder if there will be any change in the way we behave from this experience. Just your post brings a couple of things to my mind. I felt like your use of space gave me time to pause and think.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: