Have you ever needed something and thought you'd 'pop' into the nearest grocery store for a quick-grab-and-exit-in-a-jiffy-buy ?!
Well, that is NOT possible at my local supermarket. It takes at least 10 minutes to find a spot where you can decently park your car... (and no, I am not a wuss at parking !! ;-)) and if you're completely out of luck you get to wait for an old 'person' to reverse their 'car' out of an allotted space 'mushed' between the lines. This can take up to 10 manoeuvres...
Right...once parked and happily walking towards the trolley that you never seem to have correct change for ....you ask kindly if you could exchange your usually bigger amount of money for the trolley someone is bringing back. NO WAY !!!! Don't ever think that people will just 'sell' their trolley to you....NO, they want the exact amount they put into the slot, and all hell breaks loose if they have one of those special magic 'fits-into-all-trolleys-coin', then you know for sure they will never give it up for any bribe offered !!!
So...you've survived the carpark, enter supermarket....
When walking in you walk past all the cashiers only to be greeted by all your other 'annoyed' and 'flushed out' friends who have made it to the the cash register, and are about to burst, but mellow at the sight of a friendly face.
You continue your trot into the fruits and vegetables freezer, and I say freezer because I swear they have below zero temperatures in there, once you cross the barrier of hard plastic-see-through-car-wash-type-curtains, you enter a world of utter coldness, even the fruits and vegetables seem to shudder and quiver.
If you're looking for tomatoes, you have 5 rows to choose from, now this might seem a luxury, but it's not if you find exactly the same produce in 5 inconsecutive alleys...somehow, even though the supply is plentiful, you always end up 'forgetting' the tomatoes in the end.
Once you exit this ice paradise, you can defrost in the bakery area of the supermarket, which you enter by passing through yet again, another plastic curtain, and for some odd reason, unbeknown to ANYONE, there is once again a 'cold' area for the fruit juices, yoghurts and milk, right next to the 'ice paradise' but not IN it.
If you have kids, you know how they love to skip from tile to tile or over certain ones and not on others, well, this game is a blast in this particular supermarket as the 'tiling-system' is non-existant !!! Tiles everywhere, all sizes, all ranges of beige and 'dirt' look, all shapes and all textures...tile heaven.
To an organised person this is not a very pleasant sight. To a less organised person this only brings more tension on whilst shopping around, I'm sure !
The way in which the alleys seem to have been layed out is a real mystery, after having passed the bakery, with the cold wall of milk and juices, you enter the world of candy and crisps on the left, and lanes of cornflakes and jam, cleaning products and rat poison, underwear and dvd's, world produce and healthy foods on the right, whilst continuing your walk into YET ANOTHER cold zone !!!! This is where the 'real' freezers are, frozen peas, carrots, ice-cream, fishsticks etc. They have timed this impecably as by now you are fully defrosted and the process can start all over again....
Approaching the 'end' you get to grab your toiletries and beauty products, bombarded by several shelves of newly advertised products, and tv screens promoting ant repellent or the most fabulous wonder mop invented !!
Finally....you've reached the end of your shopping list and make your way to the till, proud to have managed all this in just under 10 minutes, only to find yourself stuck in the worst 'trolley-traffic jam' ever. Unfriendly and utterly annoyed people, who have been queuing for many a minute....You pray, and hope you've chosen wisely and preferably the quickest row. But 10 minutes into it, you remember why you hate walking into this supermarket. There are no supermarket values, no perks, no nothing here, just a lot of wasted time. Valuable time, as we all have places to be, and people to see, and children to feed.
When it is just about your turn, the lady infront of you starts an elaborate conversation with the cashier, which slows down and sometimes even shuts down the whole process. Sometimes, if you're truly out of luck, you will get presented with a sign saying the cash register is closed and you may queue elsewhere. It is a frequent occurrence and I'm afraid some people do not survive it.
Right...time to pay, after unloading all your stuff onto the 'conveyor belt' and re-loading back into the trolley...you have nearly made it. Oh no, first you are asked if you have a fidelity card, if you want stamps to save up for pots, pans, towels, actually anything domestic.., and then you get an overload of plastic JUNK toys, that your kids are meant to collect, forcing you to return to this horrid scene !!!!
This agonizing trip is not meant to be made ever again !!! So why do I find myself parking here again ?! Am I hopeful, or just a complete FOOL !!!