The Wasabi Peas

Wasabi coated peas

The woman was giving out samples of grass tea at the end of an isle in Jason’s Market, an overpriced supermarket selling imported goods that cure cravings of people like us who must have, say, Philadelphia cream cheese in Taiwan.

Her smile was too timid to pass by. So I stopped to take a paper cup from her hand.

“Wasabi peas! I like them myself.” She spotted the bag under my arm. “Is this brand good?” I took a sip. Wasabi coated snow pea is a popular snack here. There are several brands in the store.

“Oh yes, I bought this brand myself.” I drank the grass tea, handed her the empty cup, “Thank you! Not today.”

“No problem. Thank you for stopping.” Her voice was gentle.

“Why didn’t you take two bags?” She said as I turned to walk away. “It is on sale, buy one get one free.”

“Is it?”

“Wait here.” She left her stand on which three types of grass tea were on display. I stood there, didn’t know what to do. I ran down the list of the names of grasses and read their healing effects on the poster. I just drank the type that would regulate my metabolism during winter.

Wasabi peas, they make your nose run.

Where did she go?

There she was, coming around the corner in quick steps, with another identical bag in her hand. “Here. It is really a good deal.” She just went to the other end of the store to get the peas.

I thanked her profusely. She just waved.

Standing in the checkout line I turned to look at her. She would be standing in that tight corner for the rest of the day, in a grass-green apron, handing people tea samples and helping them realize the buy-one-get-one deals.

I regretted for having made the disgusting facial expression after gulping down her grass tea.

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