Friday, March 15, 2013

9 am, North Roxboro Road, Durham, NC

I had to go to a lab for some bloodwork, and since I'm on an individually-purchased, high-deductible plan (as opposed to an employer-provided one where my employer reimbursed me for the entire high deductible -- and yes, I've had that crazy sounding thing), I decided to shop for a lab outside of UNC Memorial, where I had been going. So I ended up in a lab inside pediatrician/GP on Roxboro Road. And, while there, I found I was the only white person in the room, a pretty rare but instructive experience. The woman who took my blood had a cutout of a woman with a meat cleaver dripping with blood affixed to her lapel. Above the woman it said "I'm in time out." She explained to me that she was always in time out within the unit, which was funny. She, in fact, was very funny. Anyway, they had a little rap music on and the woman who was handling the blood samples and putting them in the cyclotron or whatever you call it was dancing a little, whatever. I suppose I have an instinct to try to look for differences in an African-American dominant place, but the fact was it was just people doing their boring jobs, happy it was Friday. More importantly, there were lots of interesting taquerias up there, as well as carnicerias, panederias, peluquerias, and even a clothing store for "el y ella". What's surprising in the hispanic market is how mom and pops it all is, how little consolidation there is. As the soft tortilla/meat/onion/cilantro/lime paradigm of taco increasingly displaces the hard tortilla/meat/lettuce/tomato/cheddar paradigm, I can't help but to think that there should be substantial economies of scale available to someone who wants to create a taqueria chain. I'm sure, in fact, that somewhere in Florida, Texas, or California, this is happening now....

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