I have a confession to make: I went shopping at a Wal-Mart Super Store. We didn't have a choice. It was the only thing in town that would have everything we needed.
We tried alternatives though - Get this, when we asked the woman at the hotel's front desk if there were alternatives she asked why we didn't want to go to Wal-Mart. She thought it was because maybe it would be too crowded! She gave us the name of and directions to another grocery store. We couldn't find it! We drove around for about 30 minutes, navigating the one-way streets and the Bourbon Street (there were all sorts of people out and about, and drunk well before dark) closure to no avail. We couldn't find it; we couldn't even see it.
So yes, today while away from home on a social justice expedition in Louisiana, I shopped at a Wal-Mart Super Store. I believe it's the first time I've been in a Wal-Mart in quite a few years (and those times didn't count because they were in Canada and because I wasn't yet aware of the social issues surrounding Wal-Mart).
- It was packed!
- Given how cramped the streets of Metairie are, the Wal-Mart is a bit of a ways out of the area - but it's an oasis of parking and open space!
- Nothing seemed to be on sale; everything was just really cheap.
- A random African American man said "Salaams" to me. I believe this was the first official random Muslim encounter I've had out here (not including the Muslim cab driver on Saturday morning in SF).
- The majority of the individuals shopping at the Wal-Mart were African American. The same is true about the folks who were working there.
We bought $176 worth of groceries at Wal-Mart! One thing is for sure, I figured out why they are called Super Stores!
- They had everything there!
- You would not believe how much food we got for $176! (Not very surprising given their employees barely make any money and definitely don't have any benefits.)
Ya'Allah please grant us refuge from evil capitalist schemes like that of Wal-Mart.