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Living In Los Angeles Is Depressing
Saturday @ Lunch
It’s Saturday but instead of having a TGIF (okay a TGIS or a TGI the Weekend) Feeling, me and my wife felt kind of sad.
And it didn’t even help that it wasn’t a gloomy, drizzly and cold morning, like what we have been having lately.
Why? Do you ask…
All, because the people all around us are just looking more and more depressed, sad and maybe just generally unhappy.
That is if you can even find a whole lot of people out.
We went to have our dog groomed and we left her at the Dog Groomers at nine o’clock this morning and we were the only people there (not surprising as business is slow everywhere--if it hasn't closed up shop just yet that is).
So, then my wife decided to do some grocery shopping while we wait for a couple of hours to pick up the dog.
We did a short trip to the closest supermarket and we pulled into an almost empty parking lot. Well there were people there alright but they were heading to the recycling center at the end of the parking lot.
Inside the supermarket, I did not hear any music and there were only a couple of open cash registers and hardly anybody in line at the checkout counters.
And because we didn’t have a grocery list, we just went aisle-to-aisle to see if we can find anything that we needed at home. (I know that is not a good idea and a good thing to do at any store but this was an unplanned shopping trip anyway).
What I find though is that the few people (and a lot of them were White mind you--we live in a predominantly White, Asian and of course Hispanic neighborhood) were shopping not by brand but by price. I mean, I do that all the time, but to see what look like well-off people doing that and looking miserable at it, it just make me feel all the more depressed.
Not only are the weekend crowd not here, the few that were in there were meticulously choosing the lowest priced products.
I mean, my seven year old son did three trips to grab three muffins that they were giving away at the bakery area, but when you see adults doing that too, you know people are really hurting (and hungry).
I mean, I do that at Cosco’s and Sam’s, who doesn't right, but at Albertson’s?
And then I look across the window and I see the parking lot to the (relatively) newly opened 99 Cents Store filled up and there are lots of people from all walks of life going in and out, you know something’s not right in the US of A.
Something's Not Right Here
And yes, it does not help that the Shell Gas Station at the corner is selling their cheapest gas at close to four dollars a gallon.
Wow, it brought me back to the time when I first came to America, back when gas was a dollar (a dollar-something) and you’d always get change back from your twenty. And back then you didn't have to drive around to find the place selling the cheapest gas. Today twenty bucks would only slightly push the gas indicator up on your car's dashboard (yes, the good-old-days, even if they were just less than 10 years ago).
[sigh] Sad, I'm telling you
Okay, so we grabbed a few things and when you go to pay all the people are lining up at the Fast Lane or the 15 Items or Less Counter. I counted the items we got and yes, that’s my lane too.
My son wanted to grab a doughnut at the area where he got those three (free) muffins but I noticed that the price would be cheaper if we bought them at the bakery next-door. So, I left his doughnut there and told him we still had time to burn and that we can grab doughnuts and drinks at his favorite (mom and pop) doughnut store. (And he probably thought it was at the nearby Krispy Kreme Doughnut Store, no it wasn't).
Okay going out of the grocery store, I did notice that the line at the Starbucks Coffee counter was a whole lot longer than our counter. I mean, they have no money to buy the branded products (which of course they will use at the privacy of their homes) but they have the four dollars or so to buy that coffee to-go and show the world--which of course will almost be the same coffee that we will be buying in a few minutes at the tiny mom-and-pop doughnut store next door for a dollar something.
Sad, I told you.
Okay, we arrive next door to the corner (hole-in-the-wall doughnut store with the migrant husband-and-wife team from somewhere in the Middle East (Asia) greeting us with their semi-smiling faces, their head bobbing, their friendly greetings and their hospitality.
And of course, the place was packed, inside and out, so this is where all the (White) people are. Well, I should have known before I went in as I had to park a long way out.
Incidentally, the Starbucks Restaurant that used to be across from here closed down about a year ago. Well they still have that Starbucks counter inside the supermarket next door. Okay, so maybe this is where they all go now for their Saturday morning breakfast or brunch.
Well if you search for an open connection, you could probably catch a free wifi signal from the nearby motel, so there is really no need to go to Starbucks right?
Besides, you have the wide-screen television in here (surrounded by pink doughnut boxes stacked one on top of the other). And you can watch the screen which shows all the winning numbers for the daiy lottery and you can take a chance and use the money you saved for not going to Starbucks, or Denny’s, or iHop or even for that matter McDonalds (which are only a few of the other weekend breakfast options nearby) and buy scratchers or lotto tickets and play the odds.
Okay, so we had our doughnuts and our drinks, and we waited until we had to pick up our dog.
We picked up the only reading materials in there and they are all the For Rent, For Lease, For Sale Magazines. And yes you guessed it, I just read that the mortgage interest rates just got lower again, as if it wasn’t an all-time low already. House prices are still low. But there are still a lot of unsold houses and commercial places in the papers and you can see the signs in almost every street.
Again, people have no money to burn. And yes, not that it helps that Los Angeles Country has most probably the highest Real Estate prices in the U.S.A.
But yes, as I look out the doughnut store window and see a familiar face who lives over a mile away walking at the sidewalk across from us, well I guess that’s one way to beat the rising prices of gas and everything else.
And then I looked at the sky and I say, that’s why we pay the big buck$ over here, as we have this “lovely” hot, fun-in-the-beach and springtime weather when it is still technically wintertime and many other places are still shoveling snow out of their driveways.
Okay, it’s now time to go pick up our dog, go home, sleep in or do our normal weekend chores and routines.
So how was your weekend?
[I am working tonight--I can't complain, at least I still have work, even if I only work about 15 days in a month now]
- America Out of Work: Is Double-Digit Unemployment Here to Stay? - TIME
With nearly 10% of Americans idled, the country faces the prospect of long-term, double-digit unemployment. Even after growth returns, many jobs won't which is why it's time for bolder action. How to get America working again
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
The Bureau of Labor Statistics is the principal fact-finding agency for the Federal Government in the broad field of labor economics and statistics.