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?’
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.
- 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.
- Having to stop at stop signs.
- Having to give right of way to pedestrians.
- 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.