When Marc finally decided to drag himself away from paper writing yesterday, he swung by home so that we could pick our UPS delivery up from the Customer Service Center on 16th Street. One would think that the whole point of having something delivered via courier or post would be to have it actually dropped at your residence, but obviously the folks at UPS think differently. On Thursday, I placed an order for a couple of new pairs of shoes (one for me, one for Marc) from Zappos. I love that Zappos offers free overnight shipping, free returns, and has an awesome price matching service in the event you find the same shoes somewhere else for less, which I did. What I didn’t appreciate was the fact that they didn’t indicate anywhere during the online ordering process that signature was required for delivery. I anxiously anticipated my confirmation e-mail all day long—yes, I am a dork—only to be let down with the “Delivery Exception” notice that showed up in my in-box.
Once we obtained the goods, we sat in the parking lot for no less than five minutes trying to decide where we should eat dinner. This is common for Marc and me. Typically, it goes like this:
“Where do you want to go for dinner?”
“I don’t care…where do you want to go?”
“I don’t know either…nothing really sounds good.”
“What about [enter restaurant name here]?”
“No, I don’t want that.”
“I thought you said you didn’t care.”
“Well, I don’t. But I don’t want that.”
It generally goes on like this for awhile with complaints about the lack of reasonably priced, independently owned restaurants in Indianapolis until we finally settle on one of our usual haunts. Last night, though, I rose to the occasion. I suggested a restaurant that (a) we have been wanting to try for a long time, and (b) we both agreed on. So we headed off for our maiden trip to Machu Picchu on 38th Street. Neither of us had ever tried Peruvian food, but the restaurant came highly recommended by a co-worker and a fellow from church.
While trekking up Lafayette Road, I informed Marc that I was going to stop off at the Saraga Supermercado in search of my absolute favorite ginger candies—Ting Ting Jahe. [As a side note: I first tasted one of these delicious candies at the City Cafe and was immediately hooked. And since I don’t regularly make it to the City Cafe, I needed to find a way to get my fix elsewhere.] I once checked online to see about ordering the candy, which at first seemed like a great idea, until I realized that while the candy was $2.49 a bag, the shipping was about seven bucks. No, thanks. So I told myself that one day I would make a trip to the supermercado in hopes that they might have the sweets. Well, let me tell you…they had the Ting Ting Jahe alright. And they had about every other imaginable cuisine you could hope for. I think that Marc’s eyes grew to the size of saucers when we walked in the door.
One camp memory that Marc always shares is about the candies that his fellow, non-American campers brought along to camp each summer. He has explained to me before that it just wasn’t fair—not only did the Japanese and Mexican campers have all of the candies that we have here in America, but they also had sweets that we just couldn’t imagine here. Japanese candies with edible wrappers, sesame candies, Baby Lucas Sweet & Sour Mango Powder, and a variety of other chili-based delights. Upon entering the store, Marc became a virtual kid in a candy store, hunting for all varieties of formerly loved treats. As we wandered through the aisles, we were amazed at the variety of foods in the store—Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Mexican, Jamaican. You name it, it was there. We oohed and ahhed over the endless number of soba and udon noodles; went gaga over the cookies and marshmallow treats; gagged a little at the dried eel candy; and marveled over an individually packaged Japanese bean-curd biscuit that contained 27 grams of fiber and guaranteed to turn any human into [and I quote Marc here] a veritable fudge factory. Inexpensive produce, much of which I’m sure you can’t find at the average Marsh, graced the front side section of the store. The back left was lined with an enormous meat and fish counter. It really was a site to behold. Had I thought to bring my camera, you might have been able to catch a glimpse of one of my personal favorites, “Happy Peanut & You” snacks.
Ting Ting Jahe
When we were at last able to conclude our supermercado field trip, we rounded the corner and made our way to Machu Picchu. I wasn’t sure what exactly to expect except great food and large portions at a reasonable price. The restaurant itself was relatively plain, but the service was great, and we enjoyed asking the waitress for suggestions. Per her advice, I decided on the chicken with tomatoes, onions, and French fries, which was served with a side of rice. Marc ordered the chicken with peas and carrots, which came with a side of potato with cheese. It was all delicious! And we had plenty of leftovers—Marc informs me that they were just as good today. I was completely impressed with the way the food was prepared—the spices were subtle but absolutely tasty. Next time, we’re going to split the whole chicken and order sides. I can’t wait!