Opportunity For Adventure Is Endless

Chicago is a city surrounded by many suburbs. In fact the ring of suburbs encircling the city is quite varied in ethnicities. At the same time these same suburbs are examples of Americans using their freedom to engage in businesses that fill needs. Last week I traveled sixty miles, yes sixty miles, to get to a place called Buffalo Grove. My life partner is from the northern suburbs and as such all of her doctors and services are located sixty plus miles from where we live. The same services exist within a twenty mile radius but they aren’t the same. Why? Because they don’t speak the languages my soulmate needs to speak to explain her problems. (Lithuanian, Polish, Russian, and least of all English) I digress.

The small shopping center we landed in to pick up a her new glasses had a very large food store called in the middle. Similar to a Jewel or Meijer’s. The next step on our agenda was to do our weekly shopping for groceries, at our Frankfort Jewel. So why not use the Garden Fresh Market store right where we were? We decided we needed an adventure.

The store is amazingly loaded with foods from many ethnic groups, but mainly Russian. Fresh foods, meats, fruits, vegetables, you name it they stocked it. We perused the aisles for two hours and selected many ethnic varieties. After paying in US dollars via American Express we passed several kiosks containing more unique Russian goods. Magazines, toys, videos, you name it they had it. Even plastic model kits of Russian fighter aircraft and tanks. I thought to myself, only in America will one find a pocket of Russians living freely in a neighborhood where they can continue to be Russians without worrying about Putin knocking on their door.

When we finally loaded the car we were hungry, and there right near the eyeglass shop was a Korean restaurant. I asked if she wanted another adventure by trying Korean food. Yes, why not. We donned our masks and entered The Golden Durebok. There were about ten people sitting in booths scattered all around the place. All appeared to be of Asian ancestry. We found a booth toward the back and waited for a waiter to show up. After a few minutes an old man wearing a baseball jacket and a short white apron dropped a couple of menus on our table then proceeded to clean tables.

Thank God there were pictures of food in the menu. There was also english descriptions but they were intended to address Asian customers. We looked through the eight page menu and selected something from the appetizer page. We ordered thinking we had picked soup. Wrong, it wasn’t even close, and my lovely was very disappointed. We asked the old man if they had soup. He just gave us a dumb stare. I finally told him to bring us some soup, he left miffed. It took several minutes for him to return with two small bowls 1/3 filed with something that looked like chicken consume with a few pieces of green onion floating in it. We thanked him and he left. Lovely just looked at me and her entree as if expecting me to turn it in for another dish. I took a piece of what was on her plate and bit into it. Not bad, I said. She did the same, then reached over to take one of my fried dumplings. She liked the dumpling, so we traded dishes and ate.

Meanwhile, across the room from us sat two asian men, one very large in size, the other rather skinny. Both were eating with ravenous zeal. The skinny guy kept picking up a fresh napkin about every two mouth fulls to wipe his forehead and face of sweat. He did this throughout his meal. It brought back memories of when I ate with my Singaporean friends in Singapore. They loved very spicy hot food. I asked why. One answer was that Singapore is very hot and humid, but asians don’t sweat like caucasians. To compensate they eat spicy hot things that make them sweat so they could enjoy the evaporative cooling provided by the ceiling fans.

We finished our meals and I took the bill to the register to pay. I looked at what it said. What I ordered for lovely was listed as Kimchi Pancake and not soup as described in the menu. I paid and we got the hell out of there as fast as we could.

Kimche Pancake

How appropriate that I am reading the book Out of Many. One. How many more ethic pockets exist around the metropolitan area, and in how many cities of the country do they exist? I know for fact that there isn’t a city in America without a China Town, but how about Hungarian town, or Polish Town? I know they exist in Chicago and there is no limit to others as well. I attest to how they contribute to making America great, and interesting to say the least. It is also fun to explore these areas and to eat in their restaurants. The opportunities for adventures are endless.

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