Harrisburg

Proof that you can’t believe everything you read on the Internet: There’s a song, by one Josh Ritter, on one of E’s mix CDs. A part of our standard in-drive entertainment, we have a discussion about what it actually means – every single time it plays. It’s really somewhat enigmatic (read: really, really random). We had speculations, of course, but no concrete proof. Explanations on the Internet proved … unsatisfactory. Why? Because people can write whatever they want and pass it off as fact, and we’ll never know until the songwriter himself speaks up about it.

Enter a thought: “Let’s mess with people’s heads!”

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Well, it’s been a quiet week in Lake Wobegon… more or less. I went to the open-air market, kind of a bazaar, in the city. Vegetables are so cheap there! I paid the equivalent of fifty cents for three really good tomatoes – which is significant because the tomatoes in the supermarket are expensive and look really sick. I may have mentioned this before, but I have never seen so much candy in my life. The usual American stuff, but also things like German and Swiss chocolates. I may have to bring some back. Mmmm, chocolate.

The atmosphere of the market was very tangible – not unlike those of other markets of that type. Booths crammed with vegetables, trinkets, fabric, artwork, household wares and completely useless items, stall owners enthusiastically hawking their goods, customers haggling with smooth vendors (“yes, usually it’s fifty, but for you, I make it forty” “what! that’s a rip-off! I can get it cheaper in the store”), and the combined smells of fish, spices, and cheap perfume. So many languages, too, and different types of people – students, tourists, housewives, businesspeople, and tiny children constantly running about and somehow managing not to get tripped, squished, or yelled at. Mostly.

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