I'd been needing to go grocery shopping for aaaages - maybe six days since I ran out of milk and four since I ran out of bananas & yoghurt, three since I ran out of bread (all my staple foods - except I still had cheddar cheese, and dark chocolate). So I'd been drinking lots of water (exciting! but I'm grateful to have safe, drinkable water on tap) and eating my way through the packets of rice cakes and VitaWeats in the cupboard.
Another pertinent point is that I had run out of my cats' favourite food: Whiskas dry food. They actually prefer Science Diet Original dry food to any other biskits, but we hadn't had that for a while - I have Too Many Cats and not enough income to keep them in the food that they'd like to be accustomed to. We do still have a wee bit of Science Diet Oral Care, which comes in big chunky biskits that do marvellous things for one's fangs, but for some reason the only fur-person who likes that is Ember (aka Good Girl, an aspirational name), which is an excellent choice on her part, as she has need of Care for her teeth and gums. So we were having tinned food instead. Tin (sic) food is normally a Treat, even though it's usually cheaper than standard dry food, simply because I'm too lazy to wash the cat dishes after every meal, as I really should when serving tin food. With dry food, I can get away with just wiping the old crumbs and smears of grease out with a paper towel (save water, use paper *shrugs*).
So I was very excited to break through my lethargy and Aversion to Going Outside which had gripped me for some reason this week, and drive the few blocks to Ashfield Mall. My flatmate is away at the moment, so she wasn't amazed by my going to a supermarket on a Sunday evening. Perhaps because she grew up in a small country town, perhaps because she's blind and doesn't go to supermarkets much, preferring to use smaller shops where she can get to know the layout and the staff are more able to assist her, my flatmate is constantly astonished when I go grocery shopping at night.
At around 7pm on a late spring evening, the car park on the roof of the Mall was balmy and tranquil unlike the middle of the day when it would've been hot and crowded. The aisles of the supermarket still seemed quite busy, and the main indication of the time was that they were Out of Bread (i.e. all types of bread from the two brands I usually buy had sold out), and it must've been end of shift for some of the checkout staff, because twice I joined a queue only to be told by the person in front of me "they're closing" or "I'm the last person" (both of which seemed unnecessarily dramatic to me - the *shop* wasn't closing, just that checkout, and you're not the last person on earth, buddy. ahem.).
(does that bit of punctuation look like boobs? .). Maybe more so with another parenthesis
.).) I may be a little high on sugar right now... :-D )
But I bought a lovely loaf of unsliced dark rye, plus the essentials: yoghurt (several types, including a very nice vanilla one with Added Sugar - woohoo! - a bribe to get me to go shopping); bananas; the aforementioned bread; some double chocolate chip mini muffins (or as I like to call them, chocka chip muffins) which were on special, so I got two packets, one to eat quite soon and one to freeze; six litres of long-life lactose-free milk (I usually drink a litre a day); some Cadburys milk chocolate (Fair Trade, and on special - ethical but not spendy); four tins of cat food (which I hadn't planned to buy, as I still had plenty, but it too was on special); and three packets of Friskies dry food (cos that was on special also! and Trezhy really likes Friskies. such happiness).
So I was quite pleased with my purchases, which helped me maintain my equanimity when twice being told the queue I was standing in was Closed.
Then I found a check-out where the operator was not only continuing his shift, but was the most charming, polite, friendly and helpful checkout operator I've encountered in a long time. I might even ring Woollies and give some Positive Feedback. I should. Ali (I'd guess early middle-age) was efficient in packing, while also asking if the customer had any preferences or objections to which items were packed with what; he greeted everyone while he was still serving the person in front - Hello, ma'am, shouldn't be too much longer - and looked customers in the eye as he took their payment, and seemed to actually mean the standard wish for them to have a good evening.
When he greeted the two young people behind me in the queue, they didn't respond, as they were rather preoccupied with each other - their words and actions led me to deduce that they were A Romantic Couple. A tall young man and a short, curvy young woman, who I overheard saying "but I don't have a big nose". When I turned to look, I saw that she in fact had a cute small nose. Her young man explained that he thought he could hang a keyring on the end of her nose because it tilted up at the end (he tried; the keyring fell off). I was tempted to say to her "you have a cute ski-jump nose", but realised that conversational input from anyone outside their Couple was completely irrelevant, so I didn't, and instead shared a smile with Ali.
[sadly I can't include a photo of the Cute Young Couple, because it would be creepy to start taking pics of people in the supermarket queue. wouldn't it?]
Ali wished me a good evening, after putting my bags carefully in my trolley (most unusual for a checkout operator, and I didn't take it as an aspersion on my strength/lack thereof, just as kindness), and I enthusiastically wished him a lovely evening too.
It was a challenge driving home into the setting sun, because a) I'd been unable to find my sunnies* before leaving home, and b) my windscreen was covered in dust and patterned with paw prints, making it very hard to see the road, cars, pedestrians, etc, when the sun hit the dusty glass at an angle. But we made it home safely, the food and I - it was almost like when I used to buy albums** as a teenager, and walk home from the record shop, hugging the album and thinking "must watch where I'm walking; mustn't get hit by a car before I can get home and play this".
So I got home, carrying Wonderful Food for me and the fur-persons. I have nommed some of the lovely vanilla yoghurt, and one (so far) mini chocka chip muffin. The cats were not as excited as I expected them to be by the New Dry Food (for heavens' sake, they'd been surviving on Woollies Select dry food! but I guess the tin food had out-rated the New Dry Food). They did all eat some though, and seem satisfied. Now I'm blogging about this delightful expedition, with Trezhy sleeping, fluffy-tummy-side-up, on my lap, both of us content with our yummy snacks.
*sunnies: noun, plural (but referring to one composite object) Australian vernacular for sunglasses.
**albums: noun, plural. Recordings of music on vinyl disks.