When I went to New Zealand at the age of 27, some of the things it taught me were about the United States. For example, at that time Baywatch and Pam Anderson were hugely, wildly popular, and a question my friend Tim and I often heard, especially when people learned we were from California, was: Is that what it’s really like? (“Only in Venice,” I said to one.) Another thing I learned was the sheer variety of food we had available in California. At a small grocery store near Christchurch–a decent-sized city–they had two sets of lunch meat. Not three types of meat; three sets, period. You could have ham, or beef. By manufacturer X. That was it; your choices. You didn’t get to decide between grain-fed beef or free-range turkey or whatever; this packet of ham, or that packet of beef. Thanks for shopping!
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