A Pakistani Grocery Store

Essay by rameezrazzakCollege, UndergraduateA-, November 2008

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Psychology states that often many unique sensory stimulations serve as bookmarks for the mind, brining up vivid memories from distant past which had been moved to the recycling bin. The experience is often highly enjoyable, as one can experience the memory complete with all its emotion, color and sounds. Having emigrated to this foreign land, I longed for such stimuli. Whether it be from a toothache, which reminds me of my first day at work, or from certain music, reminding me of certain festivities, I enjoy it. But nothing can beat the whirling ocean of memories that hits me the moment I step into an Indian/Pakistan grocery store.

The rusty mechanism of the automatic door shrieked, pleading to be greased, a few seconds after I stepped in front of it. The interior decoration and the ambiance, or the lack thereof, immediately started to spur up memories of immense hospitality, reminding me of my grandmother's place.

The dim yellowish lighting that was once white, the icy cold breeze speaking of a deceased thermostat, and the sound of men conversing in guttural tones unheard of in this foreign land, was heavenly. I was home. I moved forward walking through the two feet wide alley between the only two counters. As I was passing through it, my eyes met a man with drooping shoulders, shabby white shirt and a neck tie with some distant traces of what must have once been a knot. My diagonal reading skills came handy to decipher his tag: he was the manager. My facial muscles involuntarily contracted to produce a smile, and my visual organs started to look for a similar response from the being. But then I was struck by reality, along with a sense of guilt due to some mild form of treason for my...