The other day as I scanned the shelves of our teeny neighborhood shop (aka "Raza's") hoping for an appetizing local jam, What To My Wondering Eyes Should Appear but a quiet and plump little jar of Trader Joe's Fresh Strawberry Jam.
WHAT ON EARTH? I am 10,000 miles from my local Trader Joe's in Pasadena (the ORIGINAL TJ's, as I have mentioned before.)
Re-wind! We lived in Loita for ten years (1989-1999). We were a hard 4-5 hour drive from the nearest paved road, phone line or post office. It was and is one of the most beautiful locations on earth. As much as I adored living there, there were many challenging things about it. I just wanted a few things that would make it easier and somehow or other I decided that a Trader Joe's was what I needed. I used to tell Byron that I would stay forever if we just had a Trader Joe's.
And so today I have to wonder: what is the meaning of this modest and lovely little jar of jam on my local shop shelf? Is it a sign with mystical and magical intent? Am I to understand that my long ago wish (in a place far away) is coming to fruition in this African town, jar by jar?
Or should I just make some toast and enjoy a dollop of the actually not so expensive imported deliciousness?
I cease and desist from trying to figure it out. I promptly buy another jar upon my next visit to Raza's.
I don't know how TJ's Fresh Strawberry Jam made the passage to East Africa, but I am very happy to enjoy it while supplies last.