Sunday, March 04, 2007

The supermarket

Saturday morning is not a good time to go the supermarket. There are lots of people and the contents of their trolleys (yes I'm a nosy parker and judgmental too) fill me with despair.

As a general rule, we avoid the supermarket. The
co-op is our place to buy food and the like. More and more local stuff from farms, gardens and dry goods etc in bulk too. I love that. Bring your own bags and (glass )containers and your away. Unfortunately they do not carry items such as toilet paper, so the supermarket is unavoidable.

So back to the supermarket - over lit, smelling of plastic and strong chemicals. It is anxiety making. Our approach is like a sting operation -go to aisle #?, get the said items and quickly assess which checkout will offer a speedy exit. On this particular visit, something went wrong and we got stuck. Person ahead of us required a price check for a dog collar.

This gave us time to observe the usual trolleys piled with crap, over-processed foods (I use that term loosely), soft-drinks etc. We also spotted a new trend - the purported environmentally conscious trolley filled with unbleached toilet paper, no phosphate washing liquids, microfibre cloths but the 'food' products were all processed and instant-ish meals. Risotto mix - just add water, nuke 'em lasagna and so on. Care about watercourses? Sure, but where do they think the waste products of their 'food' consumption ends up?

Okay, this is probably not the sort of conversation you want to have in a checkout line and that combined with the fluro lighting caused something in us to SNAP! Once outside we turned to each other and said, "&$%^*&()() I can't stand it. Can't go there again"

I have now found a small company that sells recycled paper products, so with any luck the hell hole will be a distant memory. If that doesn't work, I've got a couple of options - one involves sending the bloke to do the buying, the other involves old phone books!


Anonymous anaglyph said...

My main gripe about supermarkets is the depressing effect they have on the communal landscape. Now everyone heads to this big cruddy mall to get all their stuff and so all the smaller shops like the greengrocer and the baker and the butcher disappear from the streets (usually, in Newtown at least, to be replaced by mediocre caf├ęs or Thai restaurants).

I also mourn the disappearance of the corner shop, an institution that I grew up with, and look back on with fondness. Expensive they may have been, but at least they were filled with character and usually friendly shopkeepers (OK, so they were grumpy when we went in to order ten cents worth of lollies by the cent, but hey, what else were they going to do with their day?)

I remember the frozen home-made fruit salad bars; the 'broken' biscuits sold by the pound for nearly half the price of regular biscuits; the fresh bread that was still warm and had to be purchased in the first hour of opening or else it was all gone; the cat that slept on top of the fridge - its tail an inch out of reach of kiddies hands, but twitching temptingly; the glass case of fireworks that appeared every year - Pandora's Box incarnate.

Now it's all fluoro lights, fatty donut smells, execrable muzak and those annoying people trying to sell you American Express accounts.


11:25 am  
Blogger Nada said...

The thing I really can't stand about the big stores is the car parks. Depressing beyond belief. The Katoomba Coles carpark is just awful.

The nostalgia of the corner shop. Sigh! 10-20 cents of lollies enough for you and some siblings to eat and ruin your dinner!

Blackheath has a good array of high street style shops but being a "tourist destination" means that if something useful goes, you get a gift store in it's place. However, I think they've reached saturation point, there are only so many faux french-style antiques, a day-tripper needs.

12:48 pm  
Anonymous lidna said...

How about threatening the coop with impending attacks of rage unless they
comply with your wishes. You're worth at least 100 hippies!

8:48 pm  

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