One sun-dried tomato bagel with cream cheese and hot sauce. Toasted? Yes, please. For here or to go? To go. This little exchange costs me $2.53 every single time, but it’s always worth it.
When you’re starved, and ravaged by hunger, where do you go? To “the Alps,” as I like to call it. There’s usually a terribly long and daunting line, but you persevere — it’s the hunter-gatherer instinct in you.
As you wait in line, you are secretly observing the behavior of your peers during a test of their patience, seeing how well they hold up against the pressure of waiting, watching what they do to entertain themselves.
The people in line with you are usually unknown faces, but somehow during the wait, you become united in the linear construct.
You finally reach the end and give your order. For some reason, hot sauce on a bagel earns suspicious glances from your comrades. You pay and leave with your order and a tacit farewell.
When the deal is done, you unwrap your hot buns and feast on the sight of them. There’s always some cream cheese hanging off the edges, and the wrapper has a funky color from the hot sauce. Somehow the taste is always consistent, from first chomp to last.
I’ve always hated bagels. They have a weird, hard yet smooth texture that makes me feel like I’m biting into a helmet, and for some reason, I can never spread my cream cheese evenly. They’re like healthy, tasteless doughnuts that have gone stale because no one wants to eat them.
But for some reason, Alpine bagels are different. It tastes good, but beyond that, it brings us together. It’s a phenomenon unique to UNC that students brave the never-ending line for a few moments of sustenance.