At this moment, I’m eating a mango, drinking coffee with eggnog, uploading videos to Youtube at the speed of light and catching up on my favorite Korean soap opera on Hulu (it’s blocked in Kyrgyzstan). I’m positively glowing in the wonders of America.
And I’m making fantastic progress on the list of things I wanted to do during my extended stay in Pennsylvania. This weekend I went to the annual Apple Festival at Peddler’s Village, which on a normal day is essentially a super-quaint version of a strip mall, with cobblestone paths leading to stores for Christmas decorations and wind chimes instead of discount nail salons.
Nevertheless, I was excited to partake in as many apple-themed foods and activities as I could. Unfortunately, the event itself was pretty disappointing. It didn’t meet my expectations for apple-ness, with maybe a half-dozen or so carts selling apple goods (cider, fritters, butter, etc).
I assumed it would be an all-out apple free-for-all, but the only actual apples I saw were baskets of what must have been designer varieties ($20 for a basket of 12 apples? My Bishkek-self can’t deal with that). Although, I did shed a tear of pride for my country when I chowed down on an apple the size of my face. Apples may have originated in Central Asia, but America has turned them into glorious freak shows.
So we walked around, ate some apple fritters, looked at Christmas decorations (my mom’s weakness) and argued over toys and clothes for my future child.
Then I encountered this bit of absolute ridiculousness. This man, decked out in Native American attire and selling sand art and maracas, is playing Celine Dion on his windpipe instrument. I stood there, gawking at the situation, while my mom and sister walked ahead of me, completely unfazed. After catching this video I ran after them, “Don’t you guys realize what’s going on!? He’s playing Celine Dion! Don’t you get it?!”
Later on he was playing “My Heart will go on” and I nearly started crying with joy. This is America; you can’t make this stuff up.