A Long Way From Hong Kong

We have just returned from a trip to Colorado.  When you’re traveling, it’s amazing to see how different other places can be….. and depressing to see how similar many places have become!  I mean, we drove across the states of Iowa and Nebraska, marveling at how almost every town had a Taco Bell, Wal-Mart, KFC, McDonalds, etc….. on one morning of all-day driving, we got off the highway for several small towns in a row to look for a little small-town cafe (like we have here at home) so a certain someone could have some eggs and toast on his birthday.  Finally we found one; coincidentally in a small town similar in size to Mt. Horeb and also similarly very close to a state park.  Maybe that’s how they survived!  The place had the same kind of character as our own Schubert’s, and at 6:30 a.m. also had the farmers congregating in the corner drinking coffee and telling each other what they had done when the power went out the night before.  Papa got a vegetable scramble, and was very satisfied…. I got some oatmeal with raisins and brown sugar, which suited me fine although it was the same breakfast I’d been eating in the campground.  Oh well…. at least they HAD oatmeal!  Some places don’t, which is why I carry packets of instant.  (And decaf tea.  And Vegan Suncakes.  And fruit leather.  And almonds.  I don’t go hungry!) 

So, back to the coporatization of America…  on the other hand, while traveling one sees chains of restaurants, gas stations, convenience stores, etc. that are unfamiliar.  (The most revolting one I saw was a gas/convenience chain called Kum and Go.)  While driving through Colorado, however, we needed gas and pulled into a Shell station with a store we don’t have in Wisconsin, and in fact I had never, ever, seen here in the U.S. Only Hong Kong! However, it must be an American chain… who knew?  This photo was taken in Castle Rock, CO.   Amazing!

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8 Responses to A Long Way From Hong Kong

  1. Anonymous says:

    What is it? K-mart? Did they have Bagels Forever bagels for sale? What are you up to? I hear you’re going to HK again!

    • wingraclaire says:

      It’s called “Circle K,” which I think must be a reference to cattle brands, as I only saw that chain as we went further into cattle country. Most ranches are named for their brands. In fact, the word “brand” might even come from cattle branding, as each cow is stamped (burned) with the rancher’s mark.
      Sadly, no Bagels Forever 🙂

  2. wei_k says:

    You know what’s weird but similar? The 1st time I saw Circle K stores were in Indonesia. The 2nd was Kentucky. I didn’t know they existed in the US, either. 🙂
    And the corporate wasteland… yuck. Don’t miss that one bit.
    AND I’m glad you could find a diner. so much character.

  3. talking2alex says:

    Yes we too have ALWAYS been disgusted by the chain named “Kum and Go”, seriously one is bad enough, does it need to be a chain?

  4. Anonymous says:

    I love a good road trip complete w/ camping. very relaxing.
    you were totally lucky to get oatmeal at that place. I hope you got to go to some of the fab vegan restaurants in denver.
    It always bums me out when I see the same stores in every town. very boring. except of course when I’m in a vegan unfriendly place and there is a subway.
    yeah, the first time I saw a kum and go, I was like, really? really? andy just laughed at me.

    • wingraclaire says:

      We didn’t go to any vegan restaurants in Denver! The anniversary party was catered by their favorite Mexican restaurant, so we had great burritos…. and considered ourselves lucky.

  5. Anonymous says:

    It’s depressing how giant corporations are taking over the world. The situation is happening here as well, though in our town there are thankfully no fast food chains (there is a Costa Coffee). Here it’s the supermarkets which are pushing out all of the smaller stores… we still have an independent bakery and a couple of greengrocers though.
    ~Felicity at thriftyliving.net

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