Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Corner Store

I have a love-hate relationship with our corner store.  I absolutely love the convenience of having a mini supermarket just two steps from our front door.  When I'm lacking a lemon or onion mid-recipe, it's no problem to turn off the stove, and run down there, or better yet, send one of my kids with a few euros.  And when we're running low on eggs or butter, or I realize that someone ate up all the leftovers that I was planning on serving for dinner, I can swing by on my way home from wherever and be in and out of there in two seconds flat.   When it comes to about 80 percent of my every day needs -- pasta, rice, milk, orange juice, broccoli, coffee, jam, bananas and apples, cereal, canned tomatoes, laundry detergent, toilet paper, to name a few -- I can pretty much always rely on finding it there.  Plus since the one super grouchy cashier seems to have left, the folks who work there are generally helpful and the new ones don't have the obsession with correct change I encounter elsewhere.

No, I can't actually get my caddie through that space. 
Use the next aisle, you say? 
That would be the one that was completely blocked.
BUT (and you knew there was one of those coming), there are certain things that are inexplicably lacking -- lemon yogurt, red onions, mozzarella you can put on a pizza, brown sugar, type 65 flour.  It's this inability to finish off my shopping list for what I consider pretty normal, everyday items that absolutely drives me to distraction.  We're not talking fresh bread or vegetables straight from the farm.  I mean staples, people. And while I appreciate the industriousness of the store's employees in their efforts to keep the shelves continually stocked, sometimes the restocking makes it impossible to actually shop. 

Love or hate, I have to admit it always keeps me entertained.  When I popped in one day last week, there was a pigeon loose in the store and a somewhat agitated woman in her 60s with a giant goose egg of a bruise over her left eye being interrogated by our friendly neighborhood pompiers.  The week before, I was amused by an elderly lady in a fur coat who asked for free delivery even though she had only about 20 euros worth of merchandise.  When the checker very calmly and respectfully explained that free delivery was only available for those spending 100 euros, she snapped at him, "well I always give a good tip to the boy who brings it up."

And love or hate, you can pretty much bank on my being there at least once a day, or if I'm lucky, just five times a week.  And darn it, I just realized there's not enough milk for breakfast.  Better grab my coat and head on down.


debbie in toronto said...

The exact change hang up drives me nuts!

Linda said...

That was one of my pet peeves, although convenient why are there always way too many people working at one time and stocking shelves and getting in the way with boxes etc. Ahh well, as frustrating as those little things are, I miss Paris very much!

Starman said...

The only thing that really surprises me about the missing items is the mozzerella. I don't think the others would qualify as 'staples' in a French cupboard.

Linda said...

This is my store also. It's not a Super Stop n Shop, but it is extremely convenient. The cashiers are nicer lately.

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