13 August 2005

Praying for rain

When I got up this morning, the people on the radio said it was going to feel like 110 degrees. It was already 85 degrees at 9:30am. I had plans to walk out to Brooklyn, over the Brooklyn Bridge, and back, and while I was discouraged from making the full journey on foot, I couldn't bring myself to cancel it altogether.

One of my stops was to be Target, on Atlantic Avenue. Can you believe there's a Target on Atlantic Avenue? Let alone a Chuck E. Cheese's.

I love Target. When I used to travel to California for work a lot, I used to look forward to shopping there on my lunch hour. There was one across the street from the CitySearch headquarters in Pasadena. It was always one of the highlights of my trip, along with burritos from Baja Fresh and Jamba Juice for breakfast. Jamba Juice has made it out east now, but it no longer holds any appeal for me. Target, on the other hand, merits a long trip out to Brooklyn on the hottest day of the year (and if Baja Fresh ever comes here, I'm going there every day).

I had heard a rumor that Target was now stocking Boots cosmetics. The Boots chain of pharmacies is one of the great things about England. They have everything a person needs to live a good life, including cucumber sandwiches cut into triangles. Once, on my way home from spending three months in Ghana, I stopped in London for a week. A few hours after I'd landed in Heathrow, I walked into a two-story Boots on Tottenham Court Road. It was heaven, but a little confusing.

There are always a few days of disorientation after I come home from Africa. People move so fast here, and there is so much stuff to buy. So many choices, and after a week or so, I want them all again. But during the first few days back, I reaffirm my committment to an ascetic, non-consumerist, earth-friendly way of life. (Whether this is actually how things are in Africa is a subject for another post; or an entire book, ha. It's only been three years that I've been writing it.)

That day in Boots, I had something specific in mind. The day before, in Ghana, I'd burned myself with an iron, and had a bright red triangular wound on the inside of my left arm. I needed something healing to rub on it

Why was I ironing in a place where it's never cooler than 90 degrees, you might reasonably ask. There are little bugs, or mites, or chiggers or something -- I don't know what they are called, but you can't see them when they attach themselves to your laundry drying on the line in the backyard. And even if they aren't there, just the fact that you know they could be means you will never put on a t-shirt or lay your head on a pillowcase without feeling them biting you. Ironing everything makes sure they're dead before that happens.

In the two-story Boots, there wasn't just an aisle devoted to salves and lotions; there were several. In fact, there were several on both floors. Boots' own brand of unguents, make-up, shampoo, nail polish remover and the like are all top notch, and relatively inexpensive. It took a while to find what I was looking for, but while I searched, I found at least five other products I absolutely had to have, and by the end of my first day in London, the memory of Ghana's scarcity was fading fast.

So, the Atlantic Center Target. Did they fulfill my cosmetic desires? Sadly, no. The Boots products they carry are the fanciest ones -- the aromatherapy oils and ultra-firming anti-wrinkle creams. Not what I was looking for, and not cheap. Oh well.

Next, my long hot walk over the Brooklyn Bridge.


Blogger Pedestrian Rage said...

I love that you love Boots! I love Boots too! I think they're great. So odd to me that Boots would partner with Target, but there you go.

I am melting.

1:29 PM  

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