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The grocery ritual

Lockdown, day 46. From my home in Tiana, Spain. Every Friday, we get our groceries delivered by a supermarket in Badalona. It has become quite a ritual. For starteds the tip money. We put it in a plastic bag and hang it to the front door. This tip is very important - delivery people are doing a fantastic job these days and we think they deserve something extra. Next, the delivery person arrives, equipped with face mask and plastic gloves. He puts the groceries at the front door, takes the tip, makes a little bow with his palms together, then drives away blowing kisses. Next, we take the groceries inside, desinfect all items we directly need and leave the rest 'in quarantine' for one to three days. We pay through online banking. Besides the receipt, the supermarkt also sends my printed grocery list. They always write down "NEDERLAND" on it in big letters - why is a mystery to me. We avoid the local store. The paths are extremely narrow and it is always busy. Walking along the shelves unhindered is impossible. There are constant obstacles in the way. I sometimes call this place the 'village pump'. You always bump into someone familiar - even us - and people are always chatting in the pathways. As long as we've been in lockdown, we haven't set foot in this store. That's why we get our groceries delivered at home. It's comfortable but not entirely. I try to compose the grocery list as precise as possible, but it happens quite too often that my wishes are misunderstood. I received corn instead of peas, pumpkinseeds instead of sunflowerseeds and white napkins came with a floral print. I has also happened that the items came rotten. And there's the case that things are not available, offcourse not the fault of the supermarket. It started with toilet paper - a hoarding hit here too - now, the basil is nowhere to be found. Other items that are bought in big numbers here in Spain are patatas frites, choclate, icecream, anchovies and beer, so I read in the newpaper. It started to get a bit tiresome. It sure is a great pleasure to find your own things and to think of something else yourself if something is not available. When a friend told us she had discovered a very quiet supermarket a little further away, we immediatly went to investigate. Equipped with face mask, plastic gloves and a grocery bag (you're only allowed to go on the street here for work or groceries), we went on our trip. On our way we passed some parents with children. Since last Sunday, children are allowed to go outside again, accompanied by an adult. Besides them, it was quiet. The supermarket was hidden, we almost passed it. But it was ideal. There were more staff then visitors present. We counted three people doing their shopping.Those of the staff who clearly had nothing to do, were more interested in each other then in us. They didn't make any attemt to keep their distance from us. When we finally found a quiet supermarket, the staff was in our way.


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