Today I almost had the supermarket equivalent of road rage. I’d spent the morning and a good portion of the afternoon inside, finishing the edits for my book and working on the paid gig that I’ve got, until finally my brain said, “Enough!” I needed to get outside. I also needed to go shopping for supplies as we’re entertaining tomorrow night.
I stuffed my backpack with reusable shopping bags and caught the train down to College Station. I went into Bulk Barn, a wonderful shop that sells so many things in tubs, allowing you to buy any quantity you like. I bought lollies, flour, nuts and spices. I like it in there because of the variety of things to buy. What I don’t like are the slightly too narrow aisles, forcing you to navigate other customers who aren’t aware of their own place in the world and how it affects others.
I got out of there without feeling too stressed though, and heading down the road to Loblaw’s.
I like Loblaw’s for its openness. They’ve obviously put a lot of money and effort into the branding and the design of their stores to make you buy, buy, buy. The fresh produce section is impressive, although I dislike paying an exorbitant price for organic ginger, especially when you can’t get regular ginger at all now.
I went through the different aisles, picking up whatever I needed, but as time went on, I got more agitated. Is “onion soup mix” the same as “French onion soup mix”? Why is butter so goddamn expensive here? Where are the seaweed rice cracker biscuits? Why can’t I find things as easily as I did back home?
For the first time in a while, I just wanted to be back in Australia. I knew where everything was in the supermarket, I knew what everything was called. Usually I buy the same thing over and over here but as I’m preparing a few favourites from back home, I needed to explore other shelves and I started to feel claustrophobic.
All I wanted were the things I needed right then! I didn’t want to look. I didn’t want to search. I didn’t want to have to remember how much a tub of sour cream weighs back home compared to the tubs they have here. I wanted a 400 g tin of chick peas, not the 540 mL ones they have here. Argh!
And then to compound the situation, people get in the way with their bloody trolleys and carts and just general taking up space.
Argh! I also had to watch how much I bought because I’d be carrying it all home again.
I know this isn’t a real problem. I know this is not something any sane person should really be worrying about and it’s a testament to how good things are that I only have this to worry about. But at that moment, I just wanted to shout at somebody.
I made it out of there in one piece and caught the subway back home. As I got off at Bloor-Yonge, I came across a very welcome sight: Glen getting off the train at the same time. He took one of the heavy bags and listened to me rant and rave on the way home. It felt good to vocalise.
I had to make a second trip to the shops (one that’s closer thankfully) to get the final few things and to buy some alcohol. I then came home and began preparing food for tomorrow. First up, chocolate ice-cream. Then two types of dip, the beginnings of a double-chocolate tart, toppings for mushrooms, and then I made dinner (the standard Vietnamese chicken meatball soup).
We watched Bridget Jones’ Diary and then I massaged Glen’s back as it’s been sore all day while he’s been at a conference. I finally managed to make a difference, releasing the pain which he expressed with loud laughter. Such a funny reaction.
So life is good (and next time I need a lot of things from the supermarket, I’m going to get them delivered. The cost is worth it.).