Asian supermarkets – there’s no place like home

This weekend I’m headed to T&T Supermarket for my very first time. It’s decided. And imagine how it’s almost  Chinese and Korean New Year, so the store ought to be buzzing all weekend, but nobody comes between me and my Korean ribs, no one I say.

I read somewhere online that T&T is owned by Loblaws, so I suspect the quality to be up there. Other than that, I have no idea what to expect. I’ve heard there’s an entire aisle dedicated to noodles, which excites me more than it should. I want to be impressed and I will be disappointed if it doesn’t live up to my expectations.

As a Korean growing up with a traditional Canadian upbringing, I feel a sense of belonging in Asian supermarkets, purely because I look like I belong there…and then my bubble (tea) bursts when somebody tries to talk to me in Korean and then I just look like an imposter. That’s my cue to head straight for the checkout line.  

I remember a couple of years ago I was standing around in Future Shop waiting to be served (if only I had a penny, er, nickel, for every time that has happened to me…) and a man, who had also been standing around waiting to be served, came up to me and asked, are you from Kazakhstan? I shook my head no, while remembering the movie Borat, then blurted “Korean” and he nodded and that was that. Thinking back, it was an odd exchange, but it’s a question I’ve been asked for a long time – where are you from? When I explain that I was born in Korea, but I grew up here in Canada, the next question is, do you speak Korean? –No. Then I can’t help but feel as though I’ve let the person down a little. Makes me laugh thinking about it. I should try saying yes next time.  

I wonder if my daughter will be asked the same question. She’s taken a real liking to Korean “things” and why shouldn’t she, she’s half Korean, half French Canadian. While I don’t believe there are any other Korean kids at her school, many of the children speak French, English and a third language at home. To me, this seems more “Canadian” than speaking just English and French. Ha. I guess that means my daughter is behind in that department. Dang. Get thee to Korean school, child! (and I just know her response to that would be, But I don’t know where it is, Mom!??!).

 

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