Dream: The Wrong Bag of Peppers

[note: last night, a friend came over and we shared and traded dye-stuffs. It was a lot of careful measuring of brightly colored powders into clear baggies using a scale.]

Dream 20040309, 7:10 AM:
I’m standing at a counter. The building seems to be open to one side, like a streetside news stand; at the same time, it seems to be half-underground – the inside is dark, and it seems built into a hillside. A woman behind the counter is measuring out herbs; I ask her for something, and she begins measuring small dried red peppers into a small plastic bag, probably three or four ounces worth. She talks to me, and to a young man who is either a relative of hers or an apprentice. She has a heavy, thick accent that I can’t exactly place – it could be European or Central American, but either way it’s clear that English is not her first language. After she weighs out the peppers that I asked for, she says, “Here, you try this one, very nice – I give you little bit,” and bags up a few of a slightly different-looking pepper. She puts the bag down, and turns to attend to something else.

I start to turn away, and realize I didn’t pick up the bag. I go back, and she is in the middle of something. I stand back, but then I see the boy holding the bag. He catches my eye, and I walk up to the counter, and he hands it to me. I take the bag, and walk away. I look at the bag, and notice that it’s not peppers at all; the plastic bag has two or three smaller bags inside. The one that I can see through on top is full of a fine grain like quinoa. I read the label, but it doesn’t make much sense. I shake the bag back and forth; now, the grains look reddish rather than golden, and I can see the long “beard” pieces from wheat sheaves in the bag. I look closer at the label, and see that it’s “trigo” something – wheat. I recognize in the dream that I can’t eat wheat. I look into the bag, and pull out the other small baggies, each tied with a red twist-tie [note: just like the dyes] and it’s full of tiny dried shrimps. A third bag holds small brownish-black beans. I realize that I’ve gotten the wrong bag, and take it back to the counter.

The woman at the counter doesn’t understand what I’m trying to explain. I see a flattened plastic bag, with a tag with my name on it, and the smaller bags that held the peppers; I point to them, and try to explain that THIS was my order, apparently restocked now, and I don’t know why I got someone else’s by mistake.

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