Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Day 13: Awesome Exotic Fruit Finds at Mekong Asian Market & Uzbek Homework Practice

Assalomu alaykum!

Today was amazing! No class today so I said to myself: time to go on an adventure to see what good finds I could track down here in AZ. Started with a relaxing morning, got up late, and took a walk around to get the day going etc. Then headed back to the dorm for breakfast and to look up on my phone where to go.

Though I've been eating really well here with the excellent Sunflower Market nearby, I was having major cravings for something like durian or figs, and knowing that the food and cost of living in general here is so cheap and accessible, I figured I'd find something. Google Maps pointed me to a few good international markets so I was off for a walk.

First looked into a Middle Eastern market but when I got there I found it was more a hookah bar and restaurant than a grocery store. :P I thought they might have figs but it was a no go. Fortunately right next to it was Food City which was a Hispanic market with some really nice apricots, papayas, bananas, cactus fruit, and tamarind. Headed on from there to the one, the only, Mekong Asian Market.

Durian was what I was really looking for today since it's truly my favorite food and I haven't had it in a good couple weeks, or maybe months. I actually had seen this Mekong Asian market/plaza on my phone this morning and called to check that they had durian, and the person on the phone said they did, which was promising. I figured they might have a few frozen durians and maybe some other produce pickings, but this place EXCEEDED what I could ever expect!

After a long 1+ hr walk in the heat (I don't mind, it was worth it), I made it there and walked inside to find an oasis and paradise of fruit (and air conditioning, haha). I seriously do not think I have ever been to a better place in terms of having all my favorites, and ripe/cheap too. I could go on forever, but just take a look at the video for a view yourself:

Here is a selection of favorite photos (most are included in the video, but just to document here anyway or if you are unable to view the video now):

Ahhhhh!!! Like the gates of heaven lol
Champagne mango flats
Fresh jackfruit
White dragon fruit, avocados, Korean melons
Insanely cheap boxes of ripe champagne mangos
Hawaiian papayas
Durian! :)
Today's catch
After that, came back to the dorm dripping with sweat and pretty wiped but felt really strong and like I had a nice workout, plus the labor of love had paid off and I was ready for a great dinner. Shared some samples with friends and tasted a bit of everything that was ripe today, including some cherimoya, peaches, rambutan, lychees, dragonfruit, and of course the durians. Some of the best I've ever had! Plus, tried fresh jackfruit for the first time. Oddly I had never gotten my hands on any. Not my total favorite, but really good, tastes like juicy fruit gum!

In addition to that, got some homework done for tomorrow. Wanted to share with you my assignment so you could see what kind of work we're doing in class and also to document my progress with the language. Basically our assignment was to recall on what we have learned thus far and put together some writing that uses all the skills and vocab we have learned. I talked about my family, did a few dialogues, and then did some other narrative exercises to stay familiar with new learnings.

Note: Click here to open or enlarge the document if you are having trouble.

All in all, another great day! Loving Arizona ever more! Be back with more soon.


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