What I Hated the Least Today 236/365: Tesco Trips

What I Hated the Least Today 236/365: Tesco Trips

Most of my social contact consists of trips to Tesco. This might be sad, but I read an even sadder story the other day. It was about this guy who’dย go smoking to where the homeless hang out so they’d ask him for a cigarette. His only social contact.

My trips to Tesco are a life study. It’s about a kilometre away, sitting atop a hill. I’m not used to hills because I formerly lived in a region that was perfectly flat, like my chest. At least the way back, when I carry my groceries, is down the hill, like my life. On the way, I watch people.

The locals seem to be quite a homogeneous bunch. Men prowl around in boiler suits. Women wear nondescript clothes, natural hairstyles and no make-up. For some reasons, most people look ugly. Not plain, outright ugly. It might be the radiation from the nearby nuclear plant.

The people are nice though. Even the cashiers in the supermarket. I always get suspicious when they smile at me, wondering if I forgot to wear a shirt or what. The next thing I know we’ll be on first name terms. Most people seem to be on first name terms with most other people. It’s a small town.

It was fittingly expressed by an old man in Tesco, who was walked around by what was apparently his middle-aged daughter. She observed with some discomfort, “You’re wearing sweatpants in town?!” He says, “What town? It’s a village.” So it’s a village.

This doesn’t answer my questions though. Where are smart men in suits and fancy women in dresses? Should I get me a boiler suit? Am I expected to engage in small conversation with other people in my queue? Should I ask the cashiers about their children / spouses / pets / gardens? Should I get me a garden? What the fuck is the behaviour code here and why is everyone so weird?


28 thoughts on “What I Hated the Least Today 236/365: Tesco Trips

  1. Loved reading this Mara! We both live alone, seem to have similar perspectives on life. Occasionally I’m lonely here but love being single again. ๐Ÿ˜Œ๐Ÿ’•


    1. Awe, thanks a lot for your lovely comment! It’s great to connect in the blogosphere. I hope you won’t tire of being single, I did after a while. At least I have the cat to keep me company.


  2. I often feel this way… Am I supposed to engage with strangers? Why is everybody calling me ‘love’? It’s probably because I’m a foreigner and still haven’t learned the British social code… Good post, I love your writing style!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks a lot for dropping by and leaving a comment! Your experience sounds somewhat scary, I’m certainly not used to people calling me “love”! I hope you’ll figure out the social code soon – or else will have funny experiences to blog about!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Where in England do you live? I live in Stoke on Trent and here people call you “luv” (love) as well, but, even better, they call you “duck” too ๐Ÿ™‚ Amusing… And itยดs nothing to do with being a foreigner, English call each other that as well.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I am usually pretty content on my own (not that I get much practice with a husband and four kids) and like time for solitary pursuits. I don’t think I need social interaction to the degree that the average person does. There have been times, however, when I have just felt the desperate need for human conversation. For example, there was a period when I lived alone in Edinburgh (my husband having moved to work in London months ahead of me) and I would use my bus pass to just travel around and chat with people. I would deliberately opt to sit next to elderly people as they were always the most up for a chat with a stranger.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awe, that’s a bitter sweet story, of you riding the bus to chat with people! I’m pretty reclusive and need little social contact, but I’ve found that I do need some. Coming home is always sweeter after a trip somewhere – even when it’s just a supermarket trip!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I enjoyed reading this post, but I always like reading your posts so …

    We live in a little city. The two supermarkets we frequent the most are like your Tesco. People are dressed in what they feel comfortable in, the women don’t necessarily wear all that much make-up. If I go uptown during the lunch break I’d see all those business suits and snazzy dressed women. They’re working, and the business district is uptown.

    Then there’s Walmart. That’s a little different, strangely enough. There you can even see people in pyjama trousers. I don’t care … I smile inwardly. Speaking of which, after your post about yoga pants limits, I bought a pair. Best thing I’ve bought in a long time. I’ll wear them to the store LOL

    I lived in Quebec City for five years. There, they seemed to dress up to go to the mall, so I felt I had to do that too. I easily adapted to the, more laid-back, lifestyle of Saint John, though. People call me hon, or luv — I find it very sweet. They talk to me on buses and/or check-out lines. All this is something I would miss SO much if I’d ever leave SJ.

    They’re ugly, you say?! Well … in some cases make-up doesn’t help ๐Ÿ™‚ and they’re probably beautiful people on the inside ๐Ÿ˜€ What saddens me is the obesity, which is rampant here. Not only because of all the health issues they will acquire in the long run, but also young girls that would be so beautiful if not their features were embedded in fat.

    In one of the grocery stores I’m definitely on first name basis with many of the cashiers.

    I think we all can relate to what we see in the grocery stores and that’s why this comment got so long LOL


    1. So the story of “People of Walmart” is true? Must be an interesting place, I don’t think we have an equivalent here.

      I realised it was nasty to call someone “ugly” after I posted this, what I actually meant was “unkempt”. I don’t like it when people neglect basic things, as having a hair cut, washing their hair, and trying to have their clothes orderly. I certainly don’t dress up when going to Tesco, but I try to look neat whenever I go somewhere, as people have to look at me, so I don’t want to traumatise them ๐Ÿ˜‰

      The obesity is something I noticed too and was wondering about it. Especially in children and teenagers. Not a great start in life, aesthetic considerations apart.

      Great that you got your very own yoga pants! It’s a must ๐Ÿ™‚ I now have one pair for casual wear and another for actually doing yoga…


      1. Obesity is still worse here in North America than in Europe. It’s a ticking time bomb, as so many are morbidly obese.

        It’s really curious how they seem to congregate in Walmart ๐Ÿ™‚

        Dirty hair is disgusting. In the pen forums, there are often pictures of hands holding pens in order to show a nib. The other day I saw one with dirt under the finger nails. To keep oneself clean, at least, one would think would be one of the basic things.

        There’s no Walmart in Sweden either. There were talks, for a while, about one opening, not too far from my hometown, but it was not to be, apparently. There aren’t any stores similar to it either …


        1. Yep, I realise obesity is a bigger problem in America than in Europe, but it’s becoming more widespread here too. It’s a shame. I don’t like it how it’s rude and unacceptable in the US, for example, to say that someone is fat. So what, they are fat, it’s a statement of fact, not necessarily an offence. It’s weird to make it taboo.

          I’m far from looking my best all the time, as I spend most of my time at home, but at least when posting a picture of my hand, I make sure it’s neat…

          Liked by 1 person

  5. As someone who lived in a small town once I know that every one knows everyone, the lives are interlocked and they dress as they like. The well to do, suits and fancy gear all lived out of town on the big sheep properties. They’d come to town occasionally and swan about after getting out of their equally fancy cars.
    I did like the metaphors you use to describe both the geography and yourself, your life is not going downhill, look at it as a minor downward spiral and soon to pick up….like I’ve said before our perceptions of ourselves are just that, our perceptions, not always as others see us…
    And there endth my lesson for today!!!


    1. Thank you for your life lesson and for sharing your experience! Seriously ๐Ÿ™‚ It scares me a bit, this small town environment where everyone knows everything about everyone else. I prefer to remain anonymous. I have to admit that the fact that people are nice is quite pleasant, though I’m having difficulties getting used to it.


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