Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Enjoy with one-stop for all your groceries



I thought friends from overseas might like to know what everyday things look like.

You all know what temples and tropical beaches look like, don't you?  So when you close your eyes and think of me in Thailand you might get a whiff of that context... palm trees, reclining Buddhas possibly the more edgy among you imagine a hot chick gyrating around a silver pole* and the ubiquitous Bangkok traffic.

Unsurprisingly my life rarely contains any of these things, however the supermarket aisles you see above are a (at least) bi-weekly feature of my life.  This is my local supermarket - Villa, a chain known for being reasonably well stocked with the more western type produce and organic fresh veg compared to the more typical Thai supermarkets like Tops. It's a decent supermarket but when I say stocked, I use the term loosely as when they run out of something they sometimes replace it with that item, and sometimes with something else.

In fact I think the one thing that I notice about Thailand is the frequency with which things completely disappear off the shelves.  Forever.  Indeed, popularity does not guarantee consistent stocking; it is like they aren't trying to make money but aiming for some other less obvious key performance indicator, like colour coordination

Manager: For fuck's sake stop ordering Tipco White Grape and Kiwi juice will ya? It totally clashes with the Pomegranate and Cranberry.
Stock supervisor: But it is our best selling item!
Manager: I don't care, it throws the whole shelf out - my soul weeps every time I go down aisle five.

Another theory is they follow me around and make notes of the items I get partcularly attached to and consign them to a branch in a far suburb called "Shh Don't Tell Tracy".   Aside from the aforementioned fruit juice this platonic supermarket of my imagination is currently stocking Hormel's Vegetarian Chilli,  the frozen hash browns in the brown box, Lipton Berry Tea (in bottles), chai tea, Fab liquid clothes detergent, Sunsilk Shampoo in the clear blue bottle and the aniseed flavoured Herbal Plax mouthwash with no alcohol.

Enjoy with one stop, my ass.

*Incidentally, from my (limited) experience - Thai go-go dancers don't gyrate like those wildly sexy  acrobatic pole dancers in the movies, they rest one hand on the pole and shuffle from one foot to another looking bored.  And occasionally they toss their hair.