Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Spice Shop

I was on the other side of 1st Avenue, about to cross the four lanes of traffic, when I smelled it. Really. Waft, waft. I thought they might have a green papaya. I usually buy them at a shop on the Bowery, below Grand, and I wanted to make the strong, fresh, garlic and gingered papaya salad - I needed vitamins and courage. Didn't feel like walking to Chinatown.

Anyway, the Indian shop did have one but it was a bit flabby. The man in the shop went to see if they had more in the cold room, but no. He didn't mind that I pottered around taking pictures of everything. Try that in Wholefoods. It'll make the Park Slope Co-op seem laissez faire. HALT! You vill putt ze camera down now! Beck ayvay from ze camera...You vill not be giffen a blindfold. Same thing in the Balthazar bakery. Good grief. Welcome to Guantanamo. Which isn't even funny.

I did buy a bottle of Ribena for nostalgia's sake. I used to have it in my morning bottle when I was very little. I hope I wasn't five. I'm sure I was just precocious and can remember being two and having a bottle in the morning. Hm. Mommy? How old was I? It's supposed to be very acidic and bad for the teeth but ha! je has no cavities, and it's packed with vitamin C. Just like Cassis but without the kick.

I bought a bottle of Dettol. How could I not. It fixed my cuts and scrapes back in the day. A capful in the sink, water going white, cotton wool, wipe wipe, pat dry, get a plaster (that's a band aid), and all better. Simple. Today I nearly swigged it. The bottle is glass and beautiful. This one is made in India and on the front of the bottle the Indian Medical Association says, "Good health begins with hygiene." Quite. The back says, and I had no idea:

"Personal Uses: dandruff: 1 Tblsp to 500ml water (1 in 40 ). Mouthwash and gargle: 10 to 20 drops in a glass of water.

Surgical, Medical, Midwifery: see literature available to doctors and nurses on request.

Epidemics: treat linen, floors and for spraying rooms, 1 Tblsp for 500 ml water."

And it looks just like Bourbon. As Jay's mother used to say: My kind? So bou 'n mens 'n nasie!

...I told you they had lightbulbs

Dual Speciality Store, Inc.
7 days a week 11 am to 1am
91 1st Avenue
Abdul M Patwary, Proprietor


  1. Now, that's a plug if I ever saw one. ;-)

    Your impersonation of the co-op is hilarious; if you were more acquainted with French classics, I'd add "Ja, ja, brioche!"

    And finally, Dettol... That stuff sounds like it could be used as coolant in car radiators or to light BBQ's... ;-) "Epidemics"... That's hilarious. Does that cover epidemics of stupidity? Maybe we need to spray the whole continent, and especially government offices...

  2. Now we kow why India is on its way to ruling the world.


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