A man in a short white or sometimes, light brown overall jacket would walk around sweeping away old dust and replacing it with new - the smell is something I will never forget.
Even then, little old ladies and gentlemen of a sort would stroll around the aisles, stopping here and there, chatting and commenting on prices and how things are not the same as they used to be.
A tin of custard here, a can of peas there and along comes to the next customer, wheeling their way down the tiles with a hello and a smile and the day goes on like that.
I can remember it like it was yesterday.
Today was different.
"Fifty what? Fifty baisa in case I run off with it? Oh...ok. Here you go!"
"The wheel doesn'.....hey!, I said the wheel doesn't turn!"
There are over one thousand trolleys in Carrefour and about eight of them actually work.
Some people should not be allowed to use shopping trolleys at all.
Let me give you some examples:
Mr. Indian Construction Worker Trolley Person:
You fill your trolley with chilli, mangoes, six kilos of onions, hair tonic and enough rice for the sixty guys you are shopping for.
Multi-tasking is not your forté. You cannot look sideways at shelves and drive the trolley at the same time.
Bang! "Sorry sorry" Bang! "Sorry sorry" - all through the aisles.
Mrs. You Are All Beneath Me From Muscat Trolley Person:
Trolley full to capacity. Housemaid driving. Can just see over the pushbar.
"You are pushing it wrong!" "Get me some of those biscuits there. I know you are four feet six and I can easily reach them myself but what do I pay you sixty rials a month for?"
Then you block half the aisle with the trolley and the other half with your fat arse.
Indian man bumps into you! Bang! "Sorry sorry".
Mrs. Expat European Three Kids Housemaid Husband Friend From Work Trolley Person:
You can't come to Carrefour without an entourage of at least seven. Make sure that you give your kids at least three cans of Coke each before you leave the house, so that they are in a state of extreme hyperactivity when they get to the shelves. Let the housemaid deal with the fifty cans of powdered milk that have just collapsed after being run through by "Timmy".
Keep chatting with your friend. Don't worry about your husband - he is busy wondering how the housemaid would look naked in front of him.
Mr. Local I Couldn't Be Arsed About You Trolley Person:
You have a trolley - but you can't seem to be able to buy anything except giant bags of marshmallows, creme caramels and strawberry milk.
You wonder why your kids are all on the ceiling at home. Are they jinns? Who knows?
Drive the trolley anywhere. Phone rings - just leave the trolley. "Ahhhh Ahmed, how are you...."
Maybe someday I will get onto the subject of cars in City Centre but for now, I am off to get some work done.