30.9.04

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This picture kind of tells you how the day went. As flowing & fun & productive as yesterday was, today was frustrating & full of false starts & annoyance. This cactus is in the back of a restaurant where, almost before the first sentence was out of our mouths, the owner said No, no, I'm not interested, I don't want anything! We said, Actually we're not selling anything... & she frowned, No, no, I don't care. They had no take-out menus, no business cards either, & as we left I shrugged, oh well, it'll be as if they didn't exist at all. (Except that now there's this prickly pear on my blog.) Lady, that little feng shui mirror isn't doing you any good.

That really wasn't the worst part of it, though. In the morning we went on a house tour. Natchez is famous for its intensely restored & preserved antebellum mansions, so we thought we should check it out. Well, at the end of the tour the lady of this house tacked on some horrifying racist comments about African American people in Mississippi; although of course she didn't say "African American people in Mississippi", she said "these people". It was quite a shock to my tender Berkeley system! I was so upset that I actually had to go & cry a little bit after that, & then I was in a bad mood for the next few hours. I mean, it's one thing to know that you're going to run into this stuff; it's another to actually hear it.

Fortunately, the day improved toward the late afternoon & we got some good interviews with people about their earliest Chinese restaurant memories. One guy we talked to said his first time eating Chinese food had been just two weeks ago! That's kinda cool, don't you think?

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