Halloween 2011

I went to get my pumpkin yesterday.  I had checked out the local market last Saturday but they weren’t ready yet.  The greengrocer wasn’t going to have his available until Tuesday or so.  Amateur.  That was no way of doing things.   I needed my pumpkin and I needed it right there and then.   It turned out my luck was similar everywhere that day.

      So last night I went out around 8:30 looking for something to do and decided it was time to pick mine up before it was too late.  I decided to walk over to the Corte Inglés and get one there, because for once some of the cheapest pumpkins in town can be bought there.  They are also some of the smallest.  This would also give the chance to poke my head into the newly revamped supermarket.  I have always had a weakness for this grocery store.  It is a step up from the rest of the competition, though generally for a price.  The pumpkins there, somehow, were an exception.  This comes as a particular surprise to me because the fruit is pretty exotic in these parts and you’d think a place like the Corte Inglés would want to cash in on the rising popularity of the Irish-American festivity.  For once it decided to have mercy on our pockets.

     When I arrived, I could tell the store was down to its final dozen.  I’m sure the will be restocking for the  weekend, but that was what I had to work with. They were a sorry bunch, all scarred and beat up, and I had to examine them carefully before selecting two that seemed worthy of my knife.  We are not talking about large pieces of fruit here. Some were no bigger than a cantaloupe at best.  They would have been laughed out of town back in Connecticut, but for my small Madrid apartment needs, I found them manageable and convenient.

      I dropped them in the carriage and took a look around the new environs.  They had certainly done a solid job of making the place more spacious and inviting.  The old supermarket was cramped and hostile.  This version was open and inviting and had toned down light to make shopping for food more soothing.  I need that because I can get stressed out about these things.

    It also sold a helluvah lot of alcohol.  I mean it was there by the barrel-load.  These people weren’t just supporting the sale and consumption of beer, wine and spirits, they were encouraging it.  The minute you walked in, you had the zucchini, green peppers and Golden apples on you left, and cases of Rioja and albariño on your right.  And then further beyond, aisles and aisles of libations.  But it didn’t end there, the place was peppered with stands prmoting this red and that white throughout…next to the pork, beside the olives, between the tomato sauce and the muffins.  There was so much booze around I was hard pressed to find some of main staples in my diet.  I had to go up to one employee and say, “Excuse I’m looking for a kind of food called bread. Do you have any?”

     “Oh, I think so.  I think it’s right by the rosé.”

     “Great, thanks.  I’ll check there.”

     Boy, if you are just recently on the wagon, this is not the place for you, trust me.  But if you are looking to make a jack-o-lantern for next to nothing, go for it.

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