My Escort

photo: Evan-Amos, Wikimedia

photo: Evan-Amos, Wikimedia

I went to the grocery store a few weeks ago to pick up a few things (in fact these days I go to the grocery store more often than I’ve ever done in my life, but that’s a different post). This particular store is the bottom floor of an apartment building, with entrances in two parallel streets. When I got to the store, I noticed that the first cash registers I passed had very long lines. I walked through and found that the registers near the other entrance were nearly empty, so I gathered my dish soap, rolled oats, bicarbonate of soda and whole wheat flour and headed for the registers at the back.

After plunking down my euros, I asked for directions to the car park from that side of the store (where I had stashed my bike). The clerk’s response was to look at me for a couple of seconds, and then call Xavier. In a minute, a smartly dressed security officer appeared, equipped with nightstick, walkie-talkie and a special on-belt case for handcuffs. He walked me back through the store with my purchases (I wish I had a picture for you–I asked later, but it was most firmly not permitted). When we got to the other side of the store he called to one of the cashiers, Amparo (as it happens, the Spanish word for protection) to let her know I had paid for the contents of my backpack at the other registers. Armed escort. Not bad.

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3 thoughts on “My Escort

  1. It’s interesting the things we take for granted – like grocery shopping – that really can be different in another country. Dani’s description of some stores in Vienna were so interesting. And Aubrey said in Russia, the shelves had just the most random items, no rhyme nor reason to what they’d have stocked. My favorite was her commenting on buying Top Ramen, even tho she doesn’t like it, because it came from America. And her companions bought Kool Aid when they found it. The shop owner said, “I don’t know why you buy this! We tried it and it is nasty!!” They didn’t want to explain how you add sugar, because they worried then it would be bought up and they then wouldn’t be able to buy this little taste of home. I hope you do a post about shopping.

    • I’ve got some shopping thoughts to share, coming up. I think the grocery aisles can provide some very interesting data for drawing conclusions about people’s habits.

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