Saturday, January 26, 2008

Going shopping

If anyone hasn't worked this out yet, I do not like going to the supermarket.

So the other day we had one of those conversations where we argued discussed who had gone last, and therefore whose turn it was to go now.

Naturally I pulled the winning card out. I can't possibly carry 2 x 2 litre bottles of a water, a six pack of sparkling mineral water (in glass bottles), a six pack of tonic water....And I added helpfully, "You don't like the bread from the village shop."

So off he went. Up the track, across the river, and off to the boring old hypermarket.

Fortunately it was relatively empty. They have some new tills now. The sort where they can serve two people at once. Having dealt with Reluctant Shopping Partner, the cashier then went onto the next customer.

"Pasa por aquí," she said. "Tiene Travel?"

The short dumpy Spanish woman with dark dyed hair looked at her bemused. (Partner and the cashier both knew she was Spanish because she looked exactly like all the women in our village, who have all been cloned).

Partner twigged. "She wants to serve you. Move up to the till. And do you have the supermarket loyalty card?"

"Oh, thanks," said the short dumpy non-Spaniard with dark dyed hair. "I hadn't a clue what she was saying."

"They normally speak English," she added.

"No, they don't," argued Partner. "Emma speaks English, and a few of the others can say numbers and please and thank you."

"Well, it's so difficult. Why don't they all speak English?"

Aaaaaaaagh. No wonder people get racked off with the British. Two weeks holiday on the Costa del Sol, you shouldn't need perfect Spanish. But this woman has been here the same number of years as us, more or less.

"Would you expect someone in a shop in the UK to speak fluent French, German, Polish, or Rumanian?" said Partner, warming to his theme. "Why don't you speak Spanish?"

"I have no interest in speaking Spanish," she declared loftily. "I live here because of the sun."

People like that really piss me off. How rude.

She was obviously a BWM (Brit with money). Her trolley was heaving with spirits and wine, expensive food, frozen food. Nothing else. It cost her well over 100€. In comparison Partner spent around 40€ of which 20€ was for a 5 litre bottle of extra virgin olive oil. The rest of it was staples, bread, pasta, rice (OK that was organic and he bought two), a couple of six packs of beer and a bottle of wine.

I condescended to go out to the veg man in the afternoon when he turned up. Now this is my style of shopping. Man comes to door and I wander out to peruse goods. Said goods are cheap and fresh.

Actually Partner was sitting on the terrace. The veg man drew up and sounded his horn. "GO BOY GO," I shouted, thinking about the dog rather than Partner. He ran out so he could be first in the queue. I followed a few minutes later. It was one of the rare occasions we had beaten next-doors. This meant we had first pick at everything (we fight over the fresh peas).

So for 15€ I bought 2½ kilos of peas, a kilo of broad beans, 2 or 3 kgs of potatoes, some carrots, some white turnips, celery, cucumbers, artichokes, green peppers, and radishes. I got a huge bunch of parsley too, but that's free anyway. The veg man doesn't speak English, but I think it's worth learning a little Spanish to get all that for 15€.


Jeannie! said...

Fresh broad beans............oh I am in heaven, you lucky so and so's I adore fresh broad beans.

I am ashamed of the Brits abroad, why do they flock to Spain and everywhere else and want to eat Brit Greasy Spoon breakfasts, never ceases to amaze me!

ok, now pass a broad bean or twelve over to me, pleeeeeeease. I love 'em!

My gripe with living in Scotland is this....

we have the best, fresh fish and shellfish in the world arguably, so why does none of it appear in the shops here?

All I can buy (and I adore fresh fish - and I know I am talking to a Vegan....but I love love love Fish.....

all I can buy here is some frozen "Youngs" seafood, which has been to the far east and back for processing.

oh and your track you showed in the photo was very much like our track when we stayed in Frigiliana!

love and light, Jeannie xxxxx

Jeannie! said...

decision has been made, I am staying put!

Good luck with your work today!!!!!

Frasypoo said...

I miss those days when the vegetable man would push a cart door to door!!!And the women would haggle !

El Casareño Ingles said...

BWMs are the reason I avoid supermarkets East of Casares.

La Línea is all right at the moment, but more brits are appearing.

Unfortunately we don't get door-to-door deliveries - all the donkeys have been sold for quads. Besides nobody's going to come the forty-two steps up to our street to call on three occupied households.

Bloody glad I bought myself a stair-climbing shopping trolley for Christmas though!

dog lover said...

Finally, someone who feels the same as I do!

I am so ashamed of Americans (of which, I am one), when they come to Japan (which is where I am living now) and expect everyone to speak English and act westernized! These folks aren't interested in trying to learn the local customs or become fluent in the local language. Then they complain that they are discriminated against because they are foreigners. I feel like telling them, "If you really are unhappy here, please go back to your own country!"

On a happier note, I am envious of your fresh fruits and veggies! Although I must say that my local supermarket actually has very good fruits and veggies at a decent price, I am sure that your veggie man has much better produce!

Love your blogs! Keep up the good work!

Dog lover

Jake of Florida said...


I read your blog and I remember when I had itchy feet and lived in Paris where dinner meant stopping at a succession of shops to gather meat, bread, vegetables, milk---

More later.

Joan (Jake and Just Harry's Mom)