I've been fortunate to travel to many places around the world since I was a kid. While I would never describe myself as a worldly renaissance man, it's interesting to meet people who never step outside their sheltered little world. This doesn't just include physical travel - as I know that work and money constraints can slow your roll - but we're talking opening one's mind. I've met South Philly folk that have never been in Chinatown - in the same city!

Lately, I've been a Travel Network junkie - living vicariously through Bourdain, Zimmern and Samantha Brown. If I hit the lottery, I would probably go to school and study something totally impractical, but ultimately I would travel the world. Pipe dream of a guy stuck in the office 9 to 5.

So we were talking about Bourdain's recent show in Colombia at work and someone remarked that they find the fish markets to be odd. "I mean the fish is just sitting out there outside in daylight...all out in the open...doesn't it go bad?!" So I replied that its the absolute freshest way to have fish. People usually buy & eat on the same day and probably visit the market several times a week. I then chronicled my amazing visit to the Tsukiji fish market in Japan where I sampled a vast array of seafood.

What I was tempted to say was, "Lady, not everyone drives an SUV to a pseudo socially conscious luxury supermarket like Wegman's or Whole Foods and buys enough meat and fish to feed a village only to spoil or sit in a freezer. The majority of the world shops at outdoor food markets." She also expressed curiousity about Kimchi after watching the Vietnam(???) episode. I pointed her towards a Korean market nearby and she replied that she would need a tour guide to find the kimchi. They do speak english in there you know. When I told my wife about this story, she simply replied that this lady needs to travel outside of Jersey suburbia.

I wonder if fielding white people's questions about the "outside world" is part of my duty. Why is it that all these businesses in African-American communities are worked by Asians? How is the status of women in Asia? Any better? Why do kids leave the reflecting sticker on their baseball hats (and they never bend the brim)? Do they really use this slang term (references Urban Dictionary word of the day email)?


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