Prabhupada was interested in the American ways and people, which he met for the first time in Butler, Pennsylvania. Sally and Gopal took him to the supermarket. Sally recalls, “It was such fun taking him to the supermarket. He loved opening the packages of okra or frozen beans, and he didn’t have to clean them and cut them and do all those things. He opened the freezer every day and just chose his items.” Later Prabhupada would frown on the use of frozen food and would insist on fresh vegetables. But for now he was relieved to find them on the market in any form and accept them. Before coming to America, he thought that he might not be able to find such vegetables and he would have to subsist on potatoes.
Prabhupada would do his own laundry every day. He washed his clothes in the Agarwal’s bathroom and hung them to dry on the clothesline outside. He sometimes accompanied his hosts to the laundromat and was interested to see how the Americans washed and dried their clothes. Sally said Prabhupada was the most enjoyable and easiest houseguest that she had ever had. As she went about doing her household duties, she never had to worry about entertaining him because he would sit and chant on his beads. He sat on the couch while she swept with a vacuum cleaner and he was interested in that and they talked for a long time about it. Of course, this was not preferred activity for Prabhupada. He wanted to preach, distribute his books, and meet people who were anxious and qualified to inquire into the Absolute Truth. But he waited for Krishna to give him the opportunity. He was flexible and tolerant. He wanted something more than he found in Butler, but what Sally Agarwal observed was true. He was never bored or agitated. He depended on Krishna to place him in more favorable circumstances, but in the meantime, he could be peaceful and enlivened chanting on his beads. He was atmarama; self-satisfied.[ meditations ]