Here’s a story about a girl who went to a store she’s never been, to find a food she’s never eaten. This is 100% real and 100% awkward.
When I was at VCU, I wanted to open my mind to foods different from what I would eat at home. So I ate sushi, pad thai, boba tea; a bunch of Asian cuisine I had never thought of trying. Once I left, I knew my chances of eating food like that would be slim, since none of my friends or family here typically liked it.
I was scrolling on Facebook and saw Whole Foods will be having a self serve mochi bar. I didn’t know what it was or what it even tasted like, besides seeing it be used in various animes and characters enjoying it. I thought, hey I’m 21 and single and my whole life is ahead of me plus I had sushi the other day; this is the perfect time for me to try mochi. Although being single and 21 has no correlation to why anyone should try new food, this was the first thing that popped into my mind.
Last Saturday, my mom surprised me when she said we could stop by Whole Foods to buy some mochi after we went to a few stores first. After we had completed our morning skating lessons, we left the rink and were almost immediately engulfed in a mass of people walking around the downtown mall. Charlottesville was hit with May weather a few months early. It seemed like everyone and their dogs were there, eating outside on restaurant patios or very slowly walking in groups. It was nice to see people outside, but there were too many people outside, you know? No one was walking in the same direction, people were walking slowly, and a lot of dog doodoo was left unclaimed.
We left the mall and after paying too much for jeans at Old Navy, my mom dropped me off at Whole Foods and went to Kmart with my sister to buy a few things. First thing I noticed was the parking lot was completely full. My mom said it’s always pretty packed from what she has seen. But I knew today was different — it was warm. Here’s what happened next:
- Tried to enter through a sliding door clearly marked EXIT ONLY.
- The store was a madhouse; it was packed. It was like going to New York City for the first time; very overwhelming.
- Stood next to the shopping carts and baskets for a minute debating if I should grab one to look like I’m going to shop and know what I’m doing vs. not grabbing one to look like I needed to run in and grab something quick. I chose the latter.
- (keep in mind I’ve never been in this store) I walk around the whole store before I find the bakery section which is where I think the mochi would be. I quickly look for anything that resembles a self serve bar. Couldn’t find what I was looking for.
- I ran into one of my friends from high school who works there and she tried to help me find some mochi but I didn’t exactly say the “self serve mochi bar as seen on Facebook” so we went to the international isle and she asked someone on the radio but they couldn’t find any. So I walked away and said I would keep shopping. Also insert some awkward catching up small talk.
- I decided to look up the article again and learn only California and some other random locations have mochi bars. I felt dumb and defeated and texted my mom I was ready to leave.
- As I was waiting, I looked around the store a little more and felt like I was in the way of the usual Whole Foods shopper. I was some girl with no shopping cart or basket with no purse and had a backwards leather cap on. Was anyone judging me? Maybe.
- I found myself in the candy isle and had to pretend I was texting on my phone and wait for a family to move away from the candy bars so I could take my time and browse over each one.
- It was interesting to me all of the different types of chocolate for sale. There weren’t any Crunch bars or Reese’s cups, but 30% ultra dark chocolate with cherries and chiles and milk chocolate with pear and almond extract. There was chocolate from $3 to $24. I said to myself, out loud probably, what the heck, let me buy some type of chocolate I’ve never had before. Even though there isn’t any mochi, I can still try something new. I settled on chocolate from Iceland, which I thought would be darker, but a few pieces were satisfying.
- Mom called me and said she was out front and I said I was in line to pay. I jumped in the first line I saw (which was completely empty) and handed the chocolate bar over the to the cashier. He gave me a questionable look that seemed to ask why did I run in the store and buy one thing, this specific brand of chocolate, and didn’t go in a 13 items or less or self checkout line, but I just stared at him until he took my money. He was very soft spoken so I couldn’t hear him say if I wanted a bag or not, if I had a Whole Foods members card, or whatever else he might have said. I said, I’m sorry I didn’t hear you, and he gave me the same look and I wanted to yell stop judging me do you want my money or not? But I blamed the unusually warm weather for my inability to hear him and he gave me a pity smile.
I walked out. I got in my mom’s car and said “Well I have something to blog about.” Maybe Whole Foods isn’t my type of store; I felt very out of place. Or maybe it was just a warm day, a lot of people wanted to shop on the weekend, and I was just hangry. I’m not sure if I will go back to a Whole Foods anytime soon, but I do know to read an article all the way through and not jump the gun for mochi.
Tell me if you’ve had any experiences similar to mine in the comments.
Also, hooray for my 100th blog post!