A trip to the supermarket meant the world to me as a kid. Having grown up a little, and missing those times, I try recalling why.
Spending Sundays in summer shopping was the most perfect job (Oh my, pardon the alliteration!). A list on a neat, two file plain paper written by my mother, stuck between my knuckles, with both my hands fixed on the stands of the trolley cart, I would explore through the aisles and passages of the grocery store at the mall. Handling the lists and trolley meant a great deal to me, a task, which when accomplished would add another insignia to my virtual collar.
It was like a castle in itself, a ruby here and there, hidden treasure somewhere, something new at every turn, the anchorage of adventure and window to amateur exploration.
“What’s next?” My father would ask. Those golden words would bring my eyes to a particular attention that I, as a kid, specifically used to associate with corporate mannerism! I would narrow down the list, on which I would neatly scribble out and tick items accordingly, and shout out the next item. With little discussion on which brand, and what size, my father would add another something new to the cart. And my eyes would oomph, examining what this alien commodity has brought new to my spacecraft.
I would stare at the tall, elephant high racks and shelves, like a squirrel looks at its nut: lined with cartons of cereal, bottles of all shapes and sizes with liquids of every colour oozing and bubbling inside, boxes with cream and cookies, sprays and beauty caboodle, and delicious toppings for breakfast, quick food, soups, books, and candles, perfume and antiseptic and detergents, wishing I was a small mouse, so that I could squirt and scuttle through the narrow maze between these giants and have other adventures of my own.
From aisle to aisle and section to section, choosing good eatables and powder for home, running about with a huge trolley and music plugged in my ears, the world felt perfect. Adding a bar or two of snickers and other chocolates with alluring wrappers to the cart just before it’s our turn in the long queue. Making calls and multitasking and coming about busy and mature, it all felt right and wonderful. Like a drug.
Before the airport became my favourite place, the grocery store at the mall was my only love. Not because of the stories and advertisements that updated me, or the wonderful people I met, not for I loved shopping with Daddy or because it meant privileged responsibility, but just because it was simpler. It was simple pleasure, to watch the colour and craft behind grocery shopping, which would have been a bore, had the mall not added the bling and superfluous cream to it. It was but a simple pleasure and a little joy I shall treasure forever, for reasons I, like many, will perhaps never know.