Wednesday, 16 May 2007


After having exhausted the pleasures of watching the water go round and round the new washing machine, I realised it was probably time to buy some soap suds and get stuck in. This, and other minor emergencies (a distressing lack of yoghurts, muesli and the fundamentals of sandwich-making) prompted me to action. It was time to tackle Tesco.
Since the first time I stood forlornly outside Carrefour in Brittany (having not realised that French buses don't run over lunch hour), continental hypermarkets have made me feel like an alien landed in a strange new world, dazzled by the vastness and the hum of a thousand neon striplights lining fragrant and loaded chiller cabinets.
That and my total inability to decide between butter in a blue wrapper and butter in a white wrapper with a cow on the front. Multiply this by about 15 (Crunchy or fruity muesli, tuna in brine or tomato, etc, etc, etc.) and throw in the fact that you have to stay on tram 22 Almost til the End of the Line, and you can see why a trip to Tesco is something of an undertaking.
I won't go into detail about the experience itself, except to say that Polish Tesco is sufficiently different from English Tesco for me to have been absolutely overjoyed to find a tin of Italian chopped tomatoes with exactly the same label as they have in the UK.

As I was crossing the car park with my seven loaded carrier bags, I spotted my tram approaching on the other side of the busy main road.
Now I've relocated several times over the past year or so, and I'm not known for my punctuality, so it's not unusual for me to be found running after some form of public transport, carrying half Hulk Hogan's own bodyweight.
Unfortunately this time disaster struck. In my mad dash across the grass, my shopping bags and my legs tangled themselves together, and I tripped over the kerb, sprawling headlong into the slip road, scattering tomatoes and muesli bars and pickles onto the asphalt.

Fortunately, fashion dictates that loose trousers are to be worn beneath skirts this summer.

I managed to make it onto the next tram and sat quietly, with juice from my burst jar of gherkins slowly trickling its pungent way down the carriage.

Quote of the week comes from a Polish student I met at a Tandem (language exchange) meeting:
- 'So did you choose to come to Poland, or were you forced?'

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