I promise to stop talking about supermarkets at some point. Youd think from my entries that Ive done nothing but wander round produce aisles from the moment I arrived until now; but I have, honest. Its just you know, the little things that make you realise how far you are from home.
And because of this, I am, at present, an advertisers wet dream.
When out and shopping, all the things I would usually pick up have changed or disappeared. All the familiar labels; most of the familiar concepts or flavours. Gone. Im a new-born baby in consumer terms, ready to have all new products and favourites and ideas impressed upon me. Im therefore an blank page for any passing advertiser to scribble their logo on.
I watch television in awe, repeating the crazy names people give products here, singing jingles. When in the supermarket, I pick things up, knowing Ive heard of them but not quite knowing why. Mostly because I like the name.
My beloved, who is used to my naivety, susceptibility to suggestion and general detachment from reality, generally knows what will happen.
If we are shopping together, we will talk about things and therefore become rational on the subject.
If, however, I go shopping alone or we split up to cover the supermarket faster and I somehow mistakenly get left with the trolley, some irrational stuff is going to happen and theres not really any way around that.
Its not a BAD thing, its just a bit of a random thing. And an advertisers wet dream.
A conversation at the checkout, if there have been at least several periods where Ive been left unattended with the trolley might sound like this:
Do you know what it does?
Paul Newman Salad Dressing?
So you bought his salad dressing? Hes not going to make any money from it now
Yes. In memorandum
Reeses Peanut Butter Crunch?
Yes! Its sweeties, but also cereal. AND it is a good source of something. Calcium. Or something. Vitaminsomething.
Aunt Fannys Granola?
Youve bought five different chilli sauces.
I dont know what I like anymore. That one has a giraffe on it!
Its BRILLIANT. Its like fantasy shopping in a whole new made-up world, where things dont really exist but have a silly name as if they do.
And I know that this is really fleeting and silly, and that soon these brands and boxes will be as familiar to me as any Ive known, and I wont think about it any more.
But thats why I cherish this time. And make a big deal about it and want to point it out and write about it and live it. Because the routine becoming remarkable is something we should always note, no? Thats all this blog has ever been about.
And now I have it handed to me. In spades.
On the subject of Reeses Peanut Butter Puffs, by the way, its very wrong and very right all at once. I was thinking of including a cereal report in a podcast I was thinking of doing weekly. In fact, I was thinking of doing a podcast. Would anyone listen, you think? Or do you have to do a vidcast to be cool nowadays?