So, since being back at college, I’ve seen quite a few people making that most quintessential of college foods: Ramen. I had assumed that never again would I crave it. This was foolish. I was hanging out with old college buddies in the lounge when the craving hint. The aroma of lethal amounts of sodium, mixed with no small amount of MSG and those delightfully starchy noodles. Ahhh, memories.
Completely fake, and completely delicious. I had to have them. I needed some badly. However, I don’t exactly keep ramen in the house. It’s ramen! I haven’t eaten it in ages. Even while I was in college, I ate things that I made myself, or I ate in the cafeteria. Ramen was never really something that I wanted.

Now, I had to get some. A quest to my local grocery, the one in town that I could walk to, was in order. I put on my boots and down the road I went. A short walk later and I was questing up and down the aisles of the small, locally-owned grocery. I knew that they had very little – you couldn’t expect prime beef, noodles in shapes beyond “elbow” or “spaghetti” and things of that nature. However, I knew where things were hidden. I knew where they hid the lemon juice (for some reason, behind the parmesan cheese display, which is in the juice aisle. I don’t know, people.) and that you could even find a plethora of fresh veggies – overflow from the local farmer’s market – if you bothered to look beyond the “produce” table. (It’s not a section when you can fit the contents on a card table).

Being a grocer in a college town, though, they have a long aisle of liquors and beers. For a grocery quite so small as they, it’s rather impressive. Therefore, I assumed, ramen would have similar selection and quantity – not to mention ease-of-finding. I mean, is not “Ramen” and “Beer” the college meal?

How confused was I, then, when it was not near the wall of mac-and-cheese. No, nor even near the spaghetti noodles. They wouldn’t put it with the beer, would they? No, they didn’t even do that. Near condensed soups? No, not there either. I was stumped, growling through the grocer’s like a bear denied his bee-larvae.

Finally, I managed to find not the ramen, but a red-shirt grocer. “Where is your ramen?!” I railed of him. He told me, and in the most illogical of places. Why would you try and stuff all the Ramen behind a display sign on the bottom shelf near the spices!? Grouchy, I selected my packages and then noticed the price.

People, in my day (and it wasn’t that long ago), back when I was learning to walk and cook in basically the same breath, ramen was 10c. I know, because if I could find a dime and a penny on my brother’s floor, I would be allowed to purchase my most favorite of foods when we went to the grocery – and I’d get to purchase it all by myself! I would put my ramen up, put the divider down, and help my mom unload. When it became my turn, I would proudly display my dime-and-penny combo and would recieve my ramen in my own plastic bag. Okay, this is pretty big news for a toddler, people. So it’s a fond memory.

Even in earlier in my college career, I railed at walmart for raising the price 2 cents. 12c? 12c for ramen? that makes it so much more inconvenient.

I stared at that little yellow symbol for a good minute, ranting and raving in my brain. It was thirtythree cents, people. 33c. What on earth? 3x as much as it has been with tax before tax?! An outrage! It’s as though ramen were gas or something.

However, a craving is a craving. My single green bill would not be enough to feed both Josh and I – I need four for that. I would need change. Thankfully, a part of my brain had wondered if this would be the case, so I had a couple quarters in my pocket. I grumblingly purchased my ramen and went home and made it. Craving satiated.

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