Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Greetings from Richardson, Texas

don't go looking at a world map - you won't find Richardson there. I'm maybe 16 kilometres north of downtown Dallas and if it weren't for the signs I'd never know I had crossed into another city. Well... maybe I would.

I enjoy the odd glass or seven of wine and I'm getting tired of paying hotel prices for a glass. I decided that on this trip I'd buy at bottle shop prices. I have a hired car here so it was the work of a moment to set off, primed with the location of the nearest supermarket. I was directed to an Albertsons which I found without too much difficulty. I needed razors (I forgot to pack em) and a hair brush because I'd also forgotten to pack that.

I'm glad I'd forgotten the hairbrush to be honest. My hairbrush is very special to me; I bought it in 1976 and it's been with me through two marriages and god knows how many other disasters. The last time I was in Australia (June 2004) it went with me and I lost it. I asked my best friend, Heino, with whom I'd stayed, if I had by some good fortune left it at his house (Heino has the dubious honour of giving me bed and board when I'm back in Australia*). I had, he found it, and mailed it back to me. At least this time I know it's safe at home.

So I bought a new hairbrush that will be my travelling hairbrush. It's a big deal given that my hair is closer to my elbow than my shoulder. I tie it back most days although sometimes I let it flow free.

So back to the wine. I sometimes shop at Albertsons in Arizona - they have an average bottle shop (liquor store). Imagine my surprise when, having bought my razors and my hairbrush aforesaid, there was no bottle shop! I can go with the flow; I sought out the kitchenware section and bought a corkscrew (it's a fatal error, these days, to carry a corkscrew in your luggage when flying). Then came a half hour of driving through various shopping centres in Richardson vainly looking for a liquor store. Along the way I was not quite ennobled at the sight of three drunken yobs; two of whom had passed out; the third was kicking the bejeezus out of a pickup truck. I'm glad his foot is not mine; he'll be in pain tomorrow morning!

Then the penny dropped! I'd be lying if I said I was delighted that we have a local here in Dallas/Richardson but it's true nonetheless. So I rang him and asked if Richardson was a 'dry' city. It turns out it is. He advised me to drive north along such and such a road, take the such and such exit and there I'd find a beer and wine shop. I did and there it was. One bottle of average Australian wine later and here I am .

*you know what they say: fish and guests stink after 3 days...

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