Asheville Weird

I believe it is very important for people to travel. Regardless of how you get there, you need to explore life outside your bubble. There’s a whole big, crazy, different, interesting and WEIRD world to be experienced! I open my current Weird List with this sentiment because I realize weird is subjective and I do not want to offend anyone who finds the following things not weird.

Asheville, North Carolina is a lovely area. And a rather large city with 94,000 people. We explored a tiny section of that vast community. Here are some of the things, in no particular order, that made me say, Hmm, well, that’s weird…

  1. The Gourmet Chip Company – As a fan of popcorn, we frequently shop gourmet popcorn stores, but this was the first time I’d seen a potato chip restaurant. The entire menu looked amazing but we only stopped by for the chips. They were as delicious as promised!
  2. Heard this exchange – Some guy on the street tells a woman, “I like your yoga pants.” She responds with an awkward, “Thank you.” He follows up with, “Since you seem to be interested, here’s a pamphlet on Buddhism.”
  3. Tip Assistance – On the bottom of our restaurant tab, the tip guide begins at 20% then 25% and then 30%. We are generous tippers, but with the rising costs of a meal, a suggested 30% seems weirdly high.
  4. Busker – There was a guy standing on the street with an unplugged electric guitar and ear buds. We heard no music, but he was singing (?) and jamming along to thrash-metal-screamo.
  5. Small World – Overheard at a bar, “I had a Peruvian friend with a white last name.” “Oh my god, me, too!” This is especially humorous to me because White was my last name.
  6. Fashion – Mullets and leg tattoos are the new black.
  7. Dog Friendliest – Asheville has got to be the MOST dog friendly town I have visited. I was able to get my pet fix in bars, restaurants, shops, parks, on the street, and even in our hotel! With a Cat CafĂ© about to open, I guess they like felines, too.
  8. Barksdale – We mapped out a route for our pub/app crawl which included a spot called The Barksdale. We kind of assumed it was an ode to the pet friendly city. Ha! We happened to arrive on the heels of a group of other first-timers. Thank goodness, or we would have walked right by…the place looks like a condemned building from the street. You have to be a member to enter, but they let you join at the door. We had a similar experience in Durham a few year’s ago. There’s no cost, just show an ID and agree to their terms, click here, here, and here. (My apologies to my daughter if we signed away our first born for a cheap beer.)
  9. Hemp Festival – Despite the fact that recreational marijuana is not legal in North Carolina, we smelled plenty of proof to the contrary. There were several head shops on the way to the central park which was hosting Hemp Fest. If we hadn’t had tickets to see Judah and The Lion at The Orange Peel and The Tourists minor league baseball, we might have dropped in for some live music. What makes this weird is that “possession” of hemp products is legal, but “sales” are not.
  10. I know I said these were in no particular order, but the Hmm, Well That Was Weird Award goes to Topless Woman and Waving Friend on the Street at 10 a.m. – Yep, we were walking down the main street and Dave asks, “Did you see those people?” I look around, there are a LOT of people on the street on this gorgeous morning. I’m looking, scanning, seeing OH! There’s a middle-aged, overweight topless woman. I catch a naked shoulder, bit of side boob, tummy roll then my attention is diverted by her wildly waving companion. Selfishly, I averted my gaze and kept walking. I say selfishly because they seemed to want the attention.

Honorable weird mentions from the trip:

  1. Jayda Klink – We caught a set of Ethan and Joey at the Tin Roof in Indianapolis featuring a guest vocalist who had tried out for The Voice. It’s weird that she did not get a judge, because I tell you, if I was on that panel, I’d be dizzy from my chair spinning so fast. She is an amazing singer and it was an honor to be in her presence.
  2. Jets – We saw a squadron of jets in formation, which is cool to watch, but then they began dropping contrails. I’ve seen befores and afters of contrails, but I’ve never seen them all of a sudden begin streaming.
  3. Kentucky Capital – We stopped by the Capital building in Frankfort and took a quick tour. Everything is gorgeous, of course, dome, arches, staircases, murals, etc. But then I saw this weird panel in the women’s restroom, explanations welcome:

What’s weird in your world? It’s good to notice things that are different and accept them as a learning experience. Our Asheville trip was SO MUCH MORE than just weird. I look forward to visiting again soon.

About Mary Fran Says

I am an artist, crafter, designer and writer. I enjoy working with mixed media-- applying visual and tactile manipulations to telling a story. Not a lot of market for that, though, :), so I'm focusing on short story submissions and novel completions. Yes, plural. Lots of beginnings, too many ideas, not enough focus.
This entry was posted in My Travels and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s