The “Big Shop”
I had a very rewarding experience today: I did the big grocery shop. The one that goes on the debit card. The one where you pull out all the stops and buy the glass bottle of Heinz 57 and the good feta cheese. But also the one where you buy “dry goods” that will last a while. You can confirm you’ve done well after you’ve spend a lot of money and get home to say, “There’s nothing for lunch!” because everything you’ve bought needs to be cooked). Despite being settled in, I find it more challenging to do the big shop successfully abroad than at home.
I spent about double the usual, and got things like long-grain rice, red lentils and couscous, not to mention a selection of canned goods. I had an especially nice moment when I convinced the deli man to come out from behind the deli counter to help me reach what I believed to be the very last bag of red lentils. Someone had hidden away on top of the barrier between two back-to-back shelves. (Personally, I suspect the vegetarians as they are always up to something sneaky.)
As any car-less person will confirm, walking home after the big shop is a challenge. I recall Gdog at the Daily Kimchi coming up with a clever solution like handing over his watch as collateral for the temporary “leasing” of a cart. Here, however, there are too many stairs and hills for that to be worthwhile, so I have perfected my craft: my purchases fit into my shoulder bag and two hand-held reusable bags.
I topped off the big shop by buying more at a bookstore. I also caved in and paid for the American edition of Cosmo. It will be well worth it though, when I learn about the nose job capital of the world and Angelina Jolie’s take on Life As It Really Is.