From a American suburbia point of view, supermarkets here are tiny, because if you can’t by a kilo of sugar, a dozen eggs, cereal, 10 ears of corn, a DVD, and a wooden table and chair set for your deck, it’s just not a supermarket. In Spain, those exist too. But they are also on the outskirts of town in gigantic buildings called “hipers”. That’s a whole different ballgame, I tell you. In fact I will tell you about them some day. Anyway, considering their size, Spanish grocery stores pack in a lot of food. I mean, they really know how to make the most of space.
Once done with the visit to the cold meats section, my mind begins to run wild. A whole universe is before me…I’ve got 5 euros I want to spend, but about 50 euros I could spend and the difference was all the difference.
Anyone who goes to a grocery store with me knows it requires patience. The people who design them in theory spend a lot of time analyzing how human behavior is and how that should influence the way we purchase. In many American supermarkets, the vegetables and fruit are often the first to be shown to us because, as I have been told, they tend t take up the most room, and no one is going to stick a twelve pound watermelon on the rest of the cart if it come at the end. Seems reasonable to me. The point being, there is a method behind the madness. The problem being, I use the madness as a method.
I don’t…let me clarify…cannot adhere to the old…let’s go up and down the supermarket, aisle by aisle, until we get everything we need. This may be some old gene that gets activated as the sliding doors open before me, but I kind of adopt a hunter-gatherer approach and search high and low for the food I am looking for. It all depends on what comes to mind at the time.
Before I took a step, I tried to focus. I was here for macaroni and cheese. All I needed was cheese and some cream. Cream and some cheese. Cream and some cheese. It wasn’t a matter of limiting myself to those two products; it was fear would end up buying everything but…
Cream and cheese.