Our neighborhood is heavy on people from other cultures. I would say at least fifty percent of the people who live near me are from some other country. It actually could be higher, but I don't really run around asking everybody where they came from. Now if you go north of Peterson Avenue, the immigrant ratio goes up dramatically. Over on Devon Avenue, what used to be a mostly Jewish street, is now a conglomeration of many Middle Eastern/Asian cultures. You can see women walking down the street in a full burka, while others look like Jeanie from I Dream of Jeanie. The men wear the clothing of their culture too. Many look like they just walked outside in their pajamas. But all that is fine with me.
One group who lives up in that neighborhood are the super Jewish people. They aren't like the fun Jewish people I know. These are super religious, super observant Jews, whose men wear what look like gangster hats with a bunch of string hanging from their belt, and the women look like they just stepped off the set of Little House on the Prairie. Recently Mark and I discovered a Jewel Supermarket up on Howard Street. It is close, it is huge, it is clean, and it is Kosher. We like shopping there a lot. What we have learned though, is to not go shopping there on Friday. Because that is when the Jewish shoppers who observe Saturday as the Sabbath, do their shopping. Since their religion doesn't allow them to do any sort of work on the Sabbath, and believe me shopping is work, they have to get everything before sundown Friday. That store is seriously jammed on Fridays. That is why Mark and I always do our Saturday shopping at that Jewel. It's like shopping on a Wednesday evening anywhere else. The store is nearly empty, with short checkout lines and nobody blocking the aisles, not to mention a parking space right up front. I am not a big fan of religion, but I have to say, this time it is to my benefit. So I say, toda raba and shalom. Now if only the Jehovah's Witnesses would learn to walk past my house without stopping.