The Century City Farmers Market, where office people spill out onto the sidewalks like cockroaches in khakis and talk loudly at booth-owners with accents, (who speak perfect English) trying to get that exotic smoothie or burrito.
I went to the Middle Eastern table to get my favorite roasted hummus, tabouli, goat cheese and falafel sandwhich wrap. $5. Then I walk away with my ipod on and walk to the mall for an hour, which is what I consider “nature” in Century City. I can’t sit outside a starbucks and watch a fountain with dyed- blue water, or the construction of another building. So I go to Macy’s to get back to nature. (By the way, Macy’s loves when I handle their socks and handbags with one hand and an oozing hummus sandwich in the other.)
So today, I spend a little longer at the Mid East table because there is a guy next to me, tasting LOUDLY. “Smack, smack, hmmm, I dont’ know, smack, smack. I don’t know. Is this hot?”
He asks, ‘is this hot’. The this being the hummus that is in his own very mouth. He asks the Persian guy selling it to him if it’s hot. “Sir, if it’s hot. How would I know? I gave you a sample. So you tell me, is it hot?”
Business Guy is like, “Look .I know it’s not hot to YOU, because YOU eat this all the time. But I’m from here.”
Persian Guy goes, “I don’t eat it all the time.” He tastes it. “It’s not that hot.”
Businsess Guy goes, “Yeah? Well it’s for a two-year old so it can’t even be the tiniest bit hot or it will upset his tongue.”
I look over. This guy is trying to buy a roasted red pepper and tabouli flavored hummus. For a two-year old? Why? Did he run out of sushi?
Persian Guy says, “Well don’t buy it. Get it plain.”
Business Guy says, “Well, you’re a lot of help. I don’t want to burn my kids tongue.”
Persian Guy says, “I said don’t buy it!”
Meanwhile six people are in line just trying to throw their $5 at this guy and go on their way with their pre-wrapped sandwiches. I’m watching. On purpose. So I can feel outraged at this guy for feeding a toddler hot hummus. And outraged that he’s mad at someone because their traditional cuisine is “normal” to them and they can’t tell HIM if it’s hot or not.
Be a man. Get the hummus or don’t. Don’t taste with your mouth open and make it some other guy’s problem. Peace in the Middle East? Not in this lifetime!!