On Saturday, Stick and I roused ourselves from our WarCraft stupor and went out in search of sour cream. Stick thinks that a life without sour cream is barely worth living, and Stick complains so rarely that I mapped out a route from our apartment to the embassy district’s Friendship Store.
We came out of the subway at Yonganli, into a magic fairyland of Christmas lights, classy shops and Western chain restaurants. For a while, we just walked around, trying to decide if we wanted Lavazzo coffee, cones from TCBY or any of the other lovely treats. It was like that part of the Nutcracker ballet where all the different candies from all over the world come out and dance. We passed a DVD shop in our travels, and looked in.
“English DVD? English DVD?” the shop assistant said. I ignored her, actually I tune out any sentences with “hello”, “DVD” or “look, look, you buy” in them. It makes my life so much easier. Stick is fundamentally nicer than I am, so he answered. The shop assistant called over another employee, who motioned us to follow him.
He led us through the classy men’s wear shop attached to the DVD store, and then pushed one side of a full-length fitting mirror in the corner. Behind it was a set of rickety stairs, and at the bottom of the stairs, was a clean, well-lit, extensive American DVD collection.