And just another supermarket shelf:
Susan has been hard at work preparing for Pesach. (It starts on Monday night.) On Wednesday night I made a modest contribution by acting as driver, trolley assistant, bodyguard, and schlepper, as we went on an excursion to a supermarket to do some Pesach shopping.
When I say “excursion”, that is slightly misleading.
The place was mobbed. There were mobs of mobs. It was a convention of mobs.
There were traffic jams outside. There were trolley jams inside.
There were way more shoppers than trolleys – so much so that each shopper returning to his vehicle with a loaded trolley, found himself with incoming shoppers desperate to claim the trolley after it had been emptied.
And there were so many shoppers that they could have done with traffic lights, traffic policemen, and a traffic court, all to keep order in the aisles.
There were people doing shopping by taking the goods from the shelves and putting them in a trolley. There were people doing shopping by selecting an item and then reading the entire label – at least once – before deciding to place the item in their trolley.
Aside: At Pesach, there are special kashrut (kosher) provisions which apply. And there are different customs for Ashkenazim and Sephardim. It’s all very complicated, and taken very seriously. Kosher Le Pesach says the all important sign:
There were trolley free shoppers doing a sort of circus clown acrobat routine, balancing purchases and plastic bags stuffed with goods, as they made their way amidst the crowds.
There were shoppers trailing families behind and around them. There were families being fed on the run. There were those who had had enough, and had stopped dead in their tracks, some holding on to stacked shelves so as to avoid being swept away by the wave after wave of shoppers.
It was so busy that shoppers were becoming confused, putting goods into trolleys not their own… “Help, there goes my matza!”
The car park was, for me, a no-go area. I parked about 100 meters away, but only got that place after making two circuits of the whole block. It was a good decision. The car park itself was jammed with people driving in the entrance, people driving out the exit,people driving in the exit, people driving out the entrance, people hunting for places, people filling their cars, people having a picnic, and people parked – regardless of who they jammed in – on every piece of ground they could find. Madness. Utter madness. But in a good way…
Eventually, we managed to get out with our purchases and back to our car – after an encounter with a zealous security guard, and seventeen different people enquiring after our trolley’s availability!
Now if all of that seems traumatic, it’s nothing compared to the agony Susan had to deal with when we celebrated Pesach in the UK. But that’s another story, for another time. Meantime, there’s more Pesach work to be done…