According to my friend Midlifesinglemum, midsummer’s night (last night) is a more fruitful and positive time to plan and execute resolutions than new year’s day.
OK, I’ll buy that. And here I am.
I approach supermarket shopping on a Friday morning with trepidation, fear and strategic tactical planning. If I can arrive at the supermarket by 8, it’s worth my while. Much later, and it’s a lost cause. The cost of the shopping, overpriced at the best of times, is far outweighed by the cost to my physical and mental health, of dealing with all the other last-minute, panic-buying, fear-of-starvation-over-a-1.5-day-weekend shoppers. It’s lucky we don’t have an official Christmas here. If we did, the Israelis would knock London’s frantic Christmas eve shoppers into a cocked hat.All this is not to mention the joy of parking at the very farthest end of the car park, necessitating an unpleasant and sweaty uphill climb, pushing a loaded trolley, upon my return to the car, browbeaten by the other shoppers and thoroughly disheartened.
Today I rolled up at precisely 7.59, parked in a reasonably close-to-store space, and fetched a trolley prior to joining the others waiting for the doors to open. 8.2 passes and the hordes are beginning to get restless, as they stand, massed in a bottlenecked lump at the entrance to the store. The trolley-jostling begins, and I feel the familiar rising panic felt when one finds oneself in any kind of queue in Israel, in any situation you care to name. It’s like an airborne infection — “must get in there, mustn’t let them ahead of me, cannot be last or the sky will fall in, cluck bah buh-cuck chicken licken!” The worst thing about it is that one is barely conscious that the sickness has been contracted until it’s way too late and one is glaring death by dagger eyes at the woman who pulled a fast one and nipped ahead in line. I consider myself in recovery from this disease, and practice taking long slow breaths, and reminding myself that the sky will not fall in if i get into the store two minutes later than I had hoped. Mostly it works, but this is Israel, and I am nothing if not flexible. 🙂 Today, I observed the scene, allowing the little man in my head to take notes, while I stood, outwardly calm*, waiting to start my Friday morning shopping experience.
Once inside, it’s like the highway rules apply, but with trolleys. In my head I hear Murray Walker providing the commentary, as I skillfully (or not so much) maneuver my trolley around people, corners, and other abandoned trolleys. Today we witnessed a close moment upon entering the frozen foods section, when someone came up on my inside edge and overtook, only to be scuppered by a man with an unusally shaped stomach, disproportionate to the rest of his body, who was intent on reading the labels of every single packet of frozen chicken liver, so i made my move and sailed past the finish line — known to supermarket employees as the cheese fridge.
An hour later and I sit here at home, rested, breakfasted and refreshed, fulfilling my new mid-year resolution — to write more. I only hope that for those of you not currently residing in the Holy Land, I’ve enabled you to enjoy a tiny slice of life in what my friend Liza calls “this neck of the desert”.
A gutte shabbes.
*Inwardly dying for a pee.