I’m not sure if you’ve seen Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (possibly the best children’s film to be made in decades) but there’s a great scene in it when this fat bloke takes on some man-size roasted chickens and he ends up looking like this…

Well that’s what I wanted to do with my roasted chicken to the check out woman at Vons, Montecito.

Do I have ID?

I’m ambivalent to this question. Half of me is flattered that someone out there still  thinks I look younger than 21. Half of me is just plain angry that someone is making me root through my bag for my drivers’ license which I’ve gotten used to carrying everywhere because at some point the highway patrol is so going to nab my arse but which is always hidden, crumpled at the bottom of my bag. Anyway I show the Vons lady my UK drivers’ license and she looks at it. Then says, ‘No, sorry. It has to  be a US one.’

I stare at her and that’s when I imagine the chicken scene. I eye the chicken in my trolley and sigh and say to her, ‘And even though it says I’m 32 right there, next to the picture of me. And my four year old daughter is in front of you and I’m shopping in Montecito buying a weeks’ worth of groceries and I’m wondering how many 20 year olds you get in here doing that, and I bought a bottle just yesterday and your manager served me no questions, you’re still not going to let me buy this wine?’

‘No.’

Chicken image again. I got in the car with my alcohol free shopping and realized that whilst I love California – namely the sunshine, the beaches, the light, the wine (when I can get it), the smiles (except at Disneyland), the shopping, yogurtland, thriftstores, the fact that I’m currently living in the same state as Alex Skarsgard…there’s a few things stacking up on my not so fond of list.

  1. Needing my passport not just to clear immigration but also to buy wine even though I am 10 years over the limit and clearly look like I could use it.
  2. Having to stop at stop signs.
  3. Having to give right of way to pedestrians.
  4. Having to pump my own gas. Admittedly this is the case in most of the rest of the world. But not in Bali – land of the perpetually lazy ex-pat.
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3 thoughts on “The scales are slowly tipping

  1. Tara Lindis says:

    Just FYI: when you cross into Oregon, the first gas station across the state line will have a sign posted in all caps on the pump that says STAY IN YOUR CAR. In Oregon, you don’t pump your own gas. Same with New Hampshire I think. Though sometimes pumping your own gas is quicker and you could read an entire newspaper while waiting for an attendant – but if it’s raining you’ll stay dry.

  2. A says:

    Hi Sarah
    So glad you like California, I was kind of dreading you posting about it in case my bubble was burst. Have you any idea what the job scene for ‘Head Of’s’ is like there; homelessness and poverty exists everywhere I guess, but if you do come across any particlar publications or websites I’d appreciate the info. The beaches sound fab, how have you found being there with a smallie (tantrums and the usual nuttiness involved with smallies aside), I have this idea that the food is all organic and healthy and markets exist eveywhere to suit whatever whim takes me. We just spent 4 weeks in the South of France and the travel bug has definitely set in. Congrats on the book deal, can’t wait to read it. Keep posting, its my daily ritual.

    1. boublog says:

      I LOVE california. You are right about the beaches and the markets and it’s very easy having a child here (though I really miss the $90 a month nanny). We are so plotting a way to come back here in 5 or so years. However we’ve decided we will need to first become millionaires because it’s very expensive. I have no idea what it is like for Head ofs as not scouting the scene I’m afraid. I would say that it would be hard to get that kind of job here because Americans would always get priority and getting a green card not easy. I haven’t really thought about the how for ourselves yet, but I know it will figure itself out if meant to be. I’m going to start writing scripts once I finish my next book! 4 weeks in South of France. Bliss. That was our original destination. Thanks about the book deal! Not out till spring 2012 but yay anyway!

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