The Supermarket [Il Supermercato]

by Luke Archer

I finally took the plunge and went food shopping. What a disaster. After walking right into the shop on Sunday at 1.30pm and the staff being too polite/embarrassed to tell me that it was shut (I noticed eventually), I was reluctant to go back there; but it is the only supermarket nearby. With head slightly-hung, I picked up my peculiar two-tiered shopping basket and tried in vain to keep the costs down.

I wanted to stock up on fruit and veg (conversations at the local stalls are still a bit too awkward for my liking) but they have a very foreigner-unfriendly method of buying these. There are plastic gloves provided (silently required), which I missed completely (more awkwardness), then you have to bag up as much of whatever it is you want, take a note of its number and weigh it. After pressing the corresponding number on the machine, a sticker prints out for you to stick on your fruit or veg. The obstacle created here is that if you do not know what something is called, you cannot be sure you are pressing the right button. Maybe I was a little too worried at the thought of buying a melon and paying for an aubergine, but my attempts to look as local as possible keep seeming to result in these simple things becoming a big issue.

I went home, tail betwixt legs, without either melons or aubergines.

N.B Melon [Melone], Aubergine [Melanzana].