Jersey City is full of bodegas, small neighborhood shops selling booze, lottery tickets, pet food, cleansing products and other sorts of household essentials for those too lazy to go the extra few blocks to the supermarket. They are good to have around in a pinch but I rarely ever go inside , save to purchase a bag of ice.
My husband, unlike me, can't stay away from our nearest bodega. He frequents the one on 7th and Erie for beer and wine on a regular basis. On more than one occasion, he has brought home a bottle of wine, only to open it and find that it tastes like vinegar. When this happens, he promptly corks the bottle up, marches back to the store and asks for a replacement.
This has worked well for the past five years but a couple of weeks ago when it happened, yet again, he received a less than warm response. When he returned to the store to ask for a new bottle the owners said, "Don't buy wine here anymore. Our other customers don't complain. If you don't like it, buy it elsewhere..." He claimed that their request wasn't mean-spirited..
I was incredulous, as he buys from them quite frequently. Why do they have license to sell rotten wine, simply because the other customers are less particular? At the same time, I also thought the circumstances were rather funny because he is a wine snob of sorts and in a way I suppose they have a point. Either way, if I were him I certainly wouldn't buy there anymore.
And so for a couple of weeks he tried to buy elsewhere. And tonight he even tried going to another neighborhood bodega but couldn't bring himself to do so. So what did he do? He dared return to his old haunt and he came home with another cheap bottle, feeling no shame.
And it was not rotten.