There is a dinner group in a small neighborhood. A member explains to me, “After doing dinners together twice a month for a while, we realized there were three very different types of meals. We had the hometown grill families. We had the hummus and veggie plate families. And then the extreme vegan meals that are usually wheat and sugar free too. You know, where you’re still hungry after. We had to design a system depending on who was hosting.” She showed me a group email:
D = desserts will have sugar
M = if you want meat/poultry you have to provide your own
V = if you want vegetarian option, have to provide your own
VP [veggie protein] = protein will be nuts, tahini, tempeh, etc.
NS = do not give children anything with sugar
W = wine only, any fancy health drinks like kombucha... BYO
An acquaintance told me her neighbor had left her job and was musing one morning, “I don’t know what my purpose is. Maybe to invent a new kombucha flavor?”
A worker at Fiesta market asked about a chocolate mocha drink I purchased for a dollar off.
“What can I say? I follow the sales,” I joked.
“You should see when kombucha is on sale here,” he countered. “Entire cases walk out the door. We are usually out in one afternoon.”
Guy flags down another guy backing out his truck in the parking lot at Papas and Pollo. “Hey, bro... there is kombucha on the top of your car, man!”
A Facebook post: “Watched a finals game at a packed bar in Los Angeles. Lots of people having a great time drinking and watching sports. Watching the next game at a packed little bar at a market in Sebastopol. Almost no one is drinking (ok, one person is drinking kombucha), and I am pretty sure it’s packed because almost no one in Sebastopol has TV.”
At Whole Foods I overheard somebody talking about a new restaurant: “They have kombucha on tap!”
I walked up behind someone at Community Market staring at several rows of healthy juices, herb-infused shakes and kombucha. After a minute I asked him if I could grab a drink. He turned to me. “Oh, I'm sorry. I was in the zone. I’m not used to such a selection of healthy drinks. They don’t have that where I’m from.”
At a mainstream dining place and I noticed they served kombucha and Revive. I commented on this to the dude behind the counter, who mumbled, “Well, you gotta keep the locals happy.”
A shopper I briefly chatted with told me one of her renters watches games at the Community Market bar. “Where else could he go watch a basketball game and drink a bunch of kombucha?” she mused. “It’s his happy place.”
Kombucha flavor of the week: tantric turmeric
A friend rolls her eyes. “People can’t just drink kombucha? It has to be a tantric experience? It has to be the best kombucha you’ve ever had?”
“You really don’t like kombucha?”
“No, it tastes like flavored beer. Mixed with dirt.”
Shopping at Community Market when you are not from here:
“There are no normal drinks here! I think that there is no Coke or soft drinks in all of Sebastopol.”
In a local establishment, the complaints about Sebastopol:
• People don’t look when they pull out of a parking space and are surprised when you honk at them, as if they didn’t realize they were on a road.
• Hipsters have taken over the Barlow.
• People give you too much personal information when they come in to buy one item.
• Needs a Trader Joe’s.
• People are too nice.
Cami Courtright is the author of Sebastoblog, which can be found at sebastopolgal.blogpost.com.