After posting Cry Hungry party I, I walked to Salvation Army, which is a big market selling used stuff in the US. Things were even cheaper and clean there. I bought a bicycle, a bread machine, a leather high-back office chair, and two kitchen stuff for $100. Most important of all, people working in Salvation Army were really friendly, patient, and helpful. The way they treated customers was a lot better than many fancy stores. It was quite a special experience. Unlike Treasure Mart, which was packed with slim, tanned, well-dressed whites, you can find all kinds of people in Salvation Army. Latino families with lots of kids, overweight black people, cheap students, blue-collar workers, and of course some good looking people in nice clothes, are all in the same place. The only down side was their lack of furniture. So, I still didn't get my table.
Today I had my second visit to Salvation Army. I bought a sharp microwave ($10), and a stainless pot ($5 or 6, made in Taiwan! I somehow trusted it more than stuff made in China), and a simple cook book ($2, will i ever use it?) The place was packed because of Labor day. But..i still had no luck finding a good table.
Some one told me in my Cry Hungry part I, I seemed to be enjoying my new life here. Yes, I am doing my best to embrace every moment in Ann Arbor. Sometimes it could be really tiring and frustrating and making people want to Cry Hungry. All I have now is my legs and my arms. It took me half hour to walk from my place to Treasure Mart, and also half hour to Salvation Army. But the two places were in opposite directions. Thinking about the night I left Taipei, when I had a group of friends and my parents helping me to carry only two suitcases, I really wanted to sit down on the road side and drown myself in tears. But I keep reminding myself, this is what I have always wanted to do, to experience a different culture. In the bicycle shop, another student and I talked about which lock to buy. In Salvation Army, a guy asked me for suggestions about which computer monitor to buy. Unlike travelers who can only look at buildings, streets, and people on the street to imagine what a different life is like, I AM Living here, alive. Of course I can just go to IKEA and buy every thing I want. But it just doesn't feel right. When you are young, you do backpacking, you sleep in cheap hotels, you stack up your kitchen when things go on big sales, you get excited when there is free food, and of course, you visit places like salvation army. Sometimes I wonder how developmental psychologists would explain such phenomenon. Is it so that people can brag to their friends and children about crazy things they have done when being young? I know many students who are from families that can easily afford expensive products still do so. They remind me over and over again that I am not alone.
The journey of cry hungry hasn't stopped. I have been sleeping on plastic bags and blue pads (I stole them from lab. They are thin cotton sheet we use to wrap rats up). I do have a futon that's still in the store. But I am still negotiating with my landlord about the dirty carpet (this is another story). Before I am certain about what's going to happen to the floor, I have no plan to unpack or to move tables in.
Enough Cry Hungry, life is still good. Today I had the best Pizza I have ever had in Ann Arbor in Silvo. Unlike most over-flavored, greasy, salty American pizzas, the Margaretta pizza I had was topped with fresh cheese and flavorful sauce. The dough had crunchy crust and elastic inning, and it didn't leave terrible grease on the plate at all. Although the price was twice higher and the size of the slice was 50% smaller, the pizza was worth every cent. Among all the Pizza places, which include Pizza House, Cottage In, Backroom, In'n out, Damino's, Pizza Hut, Zas's NYPD, some unknown pizza places, Silvo will be my first choice if I want pizza next time. Actually not just pizza, their dessert, pasta, and bread looked fantastic as well. The only bad thing was probably that I couldn't understand the italian owner's English ...when he tried to explain to me about his bread and pizzas.
Life is like music. Despite crying hungry sometimes, I decide to play mine cheerful.