One of the nice things about New York is its ethnic diversity. There are people from all over the world living here. Due to that, businesses cater to each immigrant group. I find it fun to visit such places, even when I know nothing about their culture.
On Long Island, there is a large community of Indian-Americans and dozens of restaurants that serve them. There are also Indian supermarkets selling raw ingredients for Indian food (e.g., rice, spices, vegetables) and packaged Indian dishes. Today, I visited one of these supermarkets. What a blast! It was like travelling to another country.
All the signs and products were in several languages from that region of the world. I'm familiar with Indian cuisine so I bought several frozen dishes like Malai Kofta, Palak Paneer, Chhole and Samosas. I don't know how to cook these dishes, so heating up frozen ones works perfectly for me. I love "hot pickle" which are various fruits, like lemon and lime, marinated in spicy sauce. I also love mint chutney which is so minty fresh you can't believe your tongue.
While browsing, I saw a rack of Indian magazines. I couldn't read a word of them, but found the pictures fascinating. I bought a magazine that is obviously intended for women. The photos of beautiful models wearing traditional and modern dress are interesting. Femininity and gender-presentation cross cultural boundaries. Some of the pictures are below. What do you think of them?
When I buy women's clothing and products, nobody ever says anything to me. Cashiers just take my money, make change and bag the goods. This time was different. An adorable young Indian-American girl at the cash-register picked up the magazine, looked puzzled and asked me, "This for you?" I said yes. An expression of deep amusement crossed her face. She chuckled and said, "You can read?" I said no and explained I just like to look at the pictures. She blushed and smiled broadly. Our conversation was brief but memorable.