Monday, 16 March 2009

The Dying Art...

There was a time, many moons ago, when cans were all within reach and cardboard boxes were piled high on shelves because backroom warehouses did not exist. 
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.


fred_says said...

cars at CCC?

oh my favourite?

you mean the morons that drive out as you are driving in? or the morons that park in the turning junction from Nandos to turn left......?

or the morons that drive Armadas and take up 3 spaces instead of 1? or those that park outside the entrance to the mall because the road is empty and it is far too far to omg like walk if you park in a designated space?!

I could go on. I'll get me coat.

L_Oman said...

The thing that scares the crap out of me most is getting onto the conveyor belt flat escalator with my groceries and 1/2 full cart/trolley only to figure out about 5 feet up or down that the magnetic wheels aren't magnetic. Holy crap!

I can barely push those monster carts let alone steer them! Why do they have 4 wheels that go in all directions anyways?

Add to that the shiny marble floors that have a fine layer of dust that we can't see with my flat flip-flops and I slide all over the dang place. I'm sure I'm a total sight to see shopping here. It's frustrating and grocery shopping isn't supposed to be this stressful! Seriously...

boxster said...

the 50 baiza is not so you don't steal the cart. it's so you don't leave it next to your car when driving off, but rather take it to the corner where you can get your 50 baiza back.

the wheels are not magnetic either. they are plastic rims with rubber recessed "tires". when the rims slide into the grooves on the escalator - magical friction (aka physics) keeps your cart with 200 kilos worth of consumables from wrecking through a dozen people down the line. though THAT is something i would have enjoyed watching :)

Amber said...

Expat girl in nice heels with toddler making an unexpected stop but having to make the best of it...she doesn't quite have enough muscle to push the darn thing and the right wheel keep locking up so periodically she kicks it to redirect her very nice heels. Her toddler son keeps saying "mommy, kicking cart!" At one point in the frozen food section, while picking up some chicken breasts, she redirects the cart with a nice kick and the handle comes off! The cart is completely out of hand, too bulky, wheels wonky, no real handle...instead of replacing the cart for her at the checkout...they just put all of the groceries back in...she actually has to travel to her car with the same cart. Joke: she puts in an american quarter.

Yeah - that was me. Today. I also left it in the parking lot behind someone's car...I was too exhausted from the physical effort of not trying to kill someone with my cart.

Undercover Dragon said...

Take a chill pill JD. Its shopping for &^& sake. Have a few martinis just before you go.

It works for me.

I think some kind of extra-special award is due to the Einstein in Lulu who approved the new car park (in the branch across from Porsche). How to kill all your business off instantly: design a totally insane maze of a car park only big enough for a Daihatsu cappuccino...

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear that things are just as we left them in December. Know that car parks are designed by idiots 'down-under' as well AND my 6 yr.old said yesterday, while trying to 'drive' the shopping trolley, "Mummy, this is just like the Carrefour!" :-)

jana z. said...

god i lmao reading that whole thing!!!

come to the states! you'll just love some of our ermmm "immigrants" who bring their ENTIRE family (grandparents, aunts/uncles, all the kids, their cousins and the parents). they each have a shopping cart and travel together. while they talk and lean lazily on the cart and stroll slowly, they block entire aisles with their crew. not to mention their children opening bags of whatever and eating it and throwing it back on the would have a blast!!!

fred_says said...

what fucks me off are the idiots that go shopping, have a small cart load of stuff, and then just as you've started unpacking your stuff onto the conveyor belt all their mates pile in between you with their armfuls of instant noodles, and of course they all have to pay individually and then argue and then not have the right cash and then.... oh ffs

Anonymous said...

no one is perfect

ppl ! show some tolerence