… this needs to be baked at 180C for 32-mins.

It was just past the midnight hour when the feint rumblings of a hungry stomach interrupted my finishing an engrossing anthology of poetry. And In the half-shadows I stumbled as quietly as possible, so not to wake up the dogs, to the kitchen and the slice of Parmigiano-Reggiano, some garlic/rosemary olive oil and a tray of organic eggs in my fridge that left me with a realisation that nothing other than a very lopsided omelette was on the cards.

Nothing is more depressing than the idea that you need to go to the grocery store to get some food – and you’re not sure what you really feel like eating. I hate shopping with hundreds of housewives that have less courtesy than grid-lock drivers on the William Nicol. None the less I found myself daring mid-week grocery-cart gridlock with the glacial pensioners and kamikaze housewives scrambling for produce and ingredients.

My first mistake was thinking that today would be any different to any other time that I was here. Being a Friday morning I imagined it to be virtually empty but on arrival found it was a hive of bustling activity that would leave any sane person with a serious case of agoraphobia. But, with multi-coloured shopping bags in hand, I plunged into the undulating mob to fulfil my mission of systematically ticking off the shopping list and getting out alive.

My second mistake of the day was coming to a recently re-opened mega-store with specials and unfamiliar goods. As housewives ambled through the aisles trying to decipher not only the total net weight of goods versus price but factoring the grams of fat per serving they abandoned their already overstocked trolleys blocking anyone moving up or downstream. Admittedly my levels of patience are something I’m working on.

Used to getting in, gathering what I need, and heading for the pay point in record time moving at this pace fuelled my frustration. That plus the fact that ever so often intermittent cell-phone reception resulted in a flood of missed calls from the office – all marked urgent – but un-returnable without Cirque du Soleil-esq acrobatics to get a decent signal and then having to shout over the buzzing Shul of Martha Stewart wannabes.

But having survived the experience I can confidently say that I will be back next week, for a new list of ingredients and trauma. The difference is next week the play list of my iPod, a better knowledge of produce layout, and a new time will be my change in strategy. After all if in managing to over coming shopping at peak-hour traffic how difficult can far behind can managing a relationship be?



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