Things I don’t understand

If you (or we, or I, whom so ever all these blog posts are addressed to) go to a grocery store here or a gardening shop or a clothing store, anywhere at all, if you are out and about kind of gal. Which I am not. At all. But I live with a family and they all go out very happily. And then we all are at such stores. So after picking up and dumping into the shopping trolley, all the desired objects of consumerism that we want and need, we look at them once. And find, a tiny label. It says. Causes reproductive harm, in the State of California. And we keep those things back after reading those labels.

We have found these labels on: some straightforward plastic items, seaweed and other food found in various grocery stores, bricks, pickaxes, and other things needed for the garden. On a small wooded board meant for smoking fish. If they are harmful why keep them out to sell in the first place?

They teach myths here, Greek and Latin and others. The kid was memorizing all the names of the Greek gods and what they were associated with. I used to think here it was all about scientific learning! Not much different from all the myths we learnt in school back in India. It is all a bit confusing when myth and history are mixed up in the same subject. One more reason why I have come to mistrust an emphasis on learning history.

One good thing here though is the Mexican food. It like eating raajma chaawal sabji, so I am very happy and the better half, not so much. They have lovely salsas and and there is great drink made out of rice and cinnamon and sugar. A tad bit sweet but you could cut out the sweetness by alternatively sipping on the drink with eating the main food or swiping a little bit of your meal partner’s lemonade.

The kid sang the Glad for their thanksgiving song for their annual concert. We listen to it in the kitchen sometimes, all of us are quite taken with the song, especially the instrumental music, and the last portion where instruments stop and it is just vocals. It is a very upbeat (can’t think of a better word) song. But while I was listening to the song, I heard the words about freedom.

Long ago the tale we’re told

came the pilgrims brave and bold

Sailing far across the sea

All because they might be free.

I had a general idea of how people from Europe came to the America. But when I read a bit to know why they wanted to be free, I found out why some of them were called pilgrims.

Also when the kids were singing this song in their concert, and the consciousness that at least half of the kids and their families present were of Asian heritage, and now thinking of the words, sailing across the sea and they might be free. Of how many immigrants brave a journey across the sea, and how they are blocked on the border waters in Europe, or at land borders here. How some of the songs about the founding of a nation praise and glorify the very same act, but in a very distant past for a different set of people.

A little update. So I was in California. That actual State. One that issues all these warnings on all these products. And I saw a warning. On a what-do-you-callit?, a gas pump? at a gas station. As our friend was filling up his car, I saw a warning that said something on these lines: inhaling these fumes or handling this product might cause {various medical troubles}.

It was like a moment of revelation for me. Like this State actually takes its warnings seriously. It has issued a warning for something millions of people do every single time they need to refill their vehicles.

I am not making light of the situation posed by chemicals in our current world. Just pondering the fact that if one lived in California, probably one paused every time one tried to use any modern convenience or product. About the insidious nature of harmful chemicals.

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