Tuesday, December 30, 2003

So Krista told me the other day that a small grocery store here in Modesto, California changed its name from Middle Eastern Market, to Eastern Market. I was quite furious. She suspected, rightly, that the name change indicated the desire of the owners to be less "controversial." And the Middle East is always controversial in the US, unless you are from pacifist Israel, and then you can brag about Israel, and people will genuinely ask you about Israel's "tough neighborhood" and Israel's "tough choices" and Israel's "tough enemies." . In India, they call the Middle East "West Asia," so are we now expected to go around saying that we are West Asians? So I drove to the store today. I was angry. I am sorry. I meant, Angry Arab was Angrier, as Angry Arab, praise be to him, is in a state of permanent anger, not to be confused with the Permanent Revolution of Leon Trotsky (who, when invited to address a crowd in the Bronx in NY when he visited US, began his speech with: "Workers and Peasants of the Bronx"). I entered the store, and the woman behind the counter could barely understand English, or Arabic, or Persian (not that my Persian is impeccable, please). So I kept asking her: Why did you change the name of the store? She kept nodding, and smiling, and saying: "Yes, yes. We changed the name." "Yes, the name changed."etc. Having reached no conclusion, I exited angrier than when I entered.
Yours Truly, Angry West Asian