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Archive for the ‘grocery stores’ Category

I never thought I would spend much time in Wichita, Kansas. It just wasn’t a place that was on my radar. However, in the last two years I have found myself in circumstances that have required a few extended stays there.

My first visit to Wichita was over a weekend and included a Saturday visit to a diner, an airshow, a wine bar and a club. By Sunday I felt like I had done it all and after a wander in a more than dead downtown, I gave up and spent the rest of the day watching HBO.

However, a few more visits had me scratching beneath the surface and finding a community friendly to an admittedly hippie soul like mine. Here’s what I found so that on your next visit you can skip the HBO and hit the ground running.

Food and Cafes

While a few restaurants and cafes offer vegetarian or a “healthier” option somewhere on the menu (examples Public or Anchor) I found the real standouts to come down to Lotus Leaf Cafe and The Garden Grill. Both are located downtown and have hours that vary during the day with Lotus Leaf closing early some days and Garden Grill closing for dinner completely on some days. I suggest checking the website before heading that way. Garden Grill’s menu is strictly vegan and there’s often a buffet but I find ordering off the menu preferable. Lotus Leaf offers plentiful vegan and vegetarian options with meat options interspersed on the menu, making it easy to convince a carnivore to come with you if they are hesitant. Both have amazing smoothies and juices.

Speaking of juices and smoothies, I would be amiss to mention that Wichita now has it’s very own Whole Foods on the east side of town. I arrived in Wichita after a few days in Austin, Texas, where Whole Foods is headquartered, and I can’t say that the Whole Foods in Wichita is comparable in item selection to stores in say Austin or Denver, but it does offer a decent takeout selection and loads of other options.

If you are just looking for groceries (and perhaps you are a bit disgruntled at the Whole Foods scene), The Natural Grocer has been around a while in Wichita. Their takeout selection is not so great, but you can get all the yummy groceries and supplements your heart desires!

Yoga Studios

All that food got you geared up for a nice stretch? I hope so because holy crap, yoga classes in Wichita only cost about $10 US a session. Do you know how much they cost in Singapore? Anywhere from 25 to 55 Singapore dollars (that’s $18 to $40 US).

My previous trips to Wichita have had me spending a lot of time with Adrian and Whitney at Siva Yoga. Formerly located downtown, you can now find them in the just east of central neighborhood of College Park. While I enjoyed their flowy classes in a warmish 80 to 85 degree room in the past, this trip I was second trimester pregnant and the thought of being in a heated room, even if it wasn’t Bikram hot, made me want to gag. (Listen to your body, yo!)

This led me to the even more east of central studio, Central Yoga, which is named after it’s location on Central Avenue. First, I hit up the community acupuncture sessions which cost a mere $15. The sessions are drop in, so you don’t have to be exactly on time for Dr. Vicki Dukes, DC to align your qi with her tiny little needles. I left floating on air, came back the next day for a fantastic aligned flow class with Keriann and later that week for an awesome prenatal class with the very knowledgeable Sally Beckett. If you are more into alignment than warm flow, Central Yoga is a great option.

Shopping

If you’re looking to do some shopping, I’d skip the often bragged about Bradley Fair and check out Watermark Books, an independent book store in College Park and RELove, a shop on Woodlawn that sales repurposed furniture and also holds classes to teach you how to repurpose a great find yourself.

Outdoors

While I can’t say I spent much time in nature while in Wichita, I can say that the river area through downtown is nicely kept and good for a stroll or run.

Live music

Live music seemed to radiate from bars and restaurants downtown in the summer evenings. Try Oeno Wine Bar for a start with relaxed jams while you sip a Pinot.

That’s all I have for now on Wichita. Got a secret tip? Let me know in the comments. xx

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Ran across this item while browsing at Dean and Deluca in Orchard Central. Ever tried one of these Green Musk Melons? At 100 SGD (that’s 80 USD or 50 GBP) a piece I hope they are absolutely fantastic! That’s one food item you don’t let rot in your refrigerator.

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“Oh my god, Laura. How are you going to speak over there?” said my manager at one of the gyms I taught at in London when I told her I was moving to Singapore. I gently explained to her that in Singapore they speak English.

“So yeah, how many chickens do you have in your back yard?” That was my brother over the phone when I had been here less than a week. At first I couldn’t tell if he was being sincere or not. He was. I think?

“Just promise me you will behave,” said Blair. “I’m really worried about you. No chewing gum, no jaywalking and please just don’t talk back to anyone.” This comment was a little bit closer to reality than the others. I’ve never been that good at following rules that I find personally irrelevant or keeping my mouth shut when challenged and Singapore does have a lot of rules.

“See you when you have to bust me out of jail!” I nervously joked to Blair and her husband, Patrick, as they saw me off towards Heathrow.

So far I’ve only met one person who’s received a ticket for jaywalking. That person knows of no others.

There’s something important about misconceptions.

For instance, my friends and family keep asking me if I’m having a blast. Yes, having a blast if you love re-orienting to a foreign country’s grocery store, spending a weekend afternoon wondering through IKEA and navigating wholesale furniture sales and arguing with banks and estate agents. It’s interesting and educational, but the word fun might be a stretch.

Mix in the stress of Husband’s new job, no way to commute to work and a recent housefire. There’s excitement, but it is a bit overshadowed by stress.

Jenn asked for photos. I sent her this picture of broccoli juice from the local Carrefour since I didn’t have any glamorous beach shots to send.

Broccoli Juice

Carrefour in Singapore is amazing. It has every stereotype expat product ranging from certain types of fancy Italian pasta to Peanut Butter Captain Crunch. I haven’t had Peanut Butter Captain Crunch in over 10 years, but all of a sudden I NEED it.

So if we are going to get started about incorrect perceptions, I suppose I should mention my own.

I’ve been here one week and I already get frustrated. Frustrated with the bank and how the man on the phone just told me what I wanted to believe instead of the truth without even checking my account. “That’s the culture here,” a banker explains to me. Do I believe him? I don’t know.

I am frustrated with the legal terms on the lease for our house and how they blatantly favor the landlord. “That’s how leases are written here,” says the estate agent. Do I believe her? I don’t know.

Frustrated with the people zigzagging in my way in the MRT malls instead of moving from point A to point B. I have to go somewhere, people. Pay attention!

Frustrated with the people on the MRT who run for a seat or play flashy videos as they wait.

Frustrated with the way the clerks in the shop stand about 6 inches from me the moment I walk in the door. Do they think I am going to steal something or is this their version of customer service?

Frustrated that I don’t know where to buy duct tape or thank you cards not covered in glitter.

Frustrated with how as an expat I am “suppose to” take cabs all the time now instead of public transport when I just spent the last two years trying to avoid taxis.

Frustrated with how the crowds operate and the Facebook profile picture taking that goes on endlessly at what I perceive to be hokey mall events.

Frustrated at my perceptions.

Some people call this all culture shock. Others call it outright rudeness to impose my beliefs on another culture. They are probably both right, who am I to say what’s the correct way to do things?

Be gentle with me. I am new here.

“It would be different if I was on holiday,” I say. “I live here, I’ve got to get things done. I have deadlines.”

We see things not as they are, but as we are.

I see this quote frequently contributed to Anais Nin?

I start to consider all the quirks of my own country.

Did I mention that this is only the end of week #1?

Before I left England, my friend Naomi gave me a Reiki session. “Just try to be curious,” she warned. “You need to approach this adventure with wonder and curiosity, otherwise you will feel frustrated.”

And so I try. Here it goes. Here’s to week #2.

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