Dispatch #2 from Tampa, Florida
I went to Walmart today. No surprises there. Walmart is neck-and-neck with McDonalds as the poster conglomerates for globalization. So I can expect to walk into a Walmart here in Tampa, as I would in Toronto or anywhere else, and feel I was in exactly the same place with exactly the same products on the shelves and exactly the same people walking around. And this is pretty much how I found it to be. Except that it “felt” a bit different.
The only explanation for this feeling that comes to mind is that it might be the same sort of feeling that a Toronto Blue Jay (I’m told that baseball is big around here so I’m sticking with this metaphor) might experience walking into Yankee Stadium in the Bronx for an away game. The place would be familiar to him and he knows where the dugout and change rooms are, the position of the bases….but knows he also knows he’s not on home turf, not at the Rogers Centre in Toronto (which, by the way, I still refer to as The SkyDome, a small but important-to-me act of resistance against the company that ate the world). America spawned Walmart and Walmart plays best down here. It fits. The mammoth warehouse of cornucopia I visited today was more settled, more smug, and altogether more “downhome” here in Tampa than any I’ve been to in Canada.