September 17, 2010

There are a few things in life that I keep doing even though I have promised myself a thousand times over that I won't do them ever again -flying Ryan Air and going to the grocery store without shopping bags or a euro deposit for the grocery cart. Ryan Air I'll probably always fly 'cause it's just so darn cheap, but leaving the house prepared for a spontaneous trip to the grocery store is another thing. You'd think that after more than a decade of living in Germany, I'd remember to carry a coin for the cart and a shopping bag just in case, especially considering the fact that I know there are no baggers, carts demand a deposit, and bags can cost up to twenty cents. Well, I don't. Go freakin' figure. I guess I always think I'm just gonna buy one thing so I don't need to be prepared, but that one thing somehow gets multiplied by fifty.

Imagine me on Wednesday morning. Kids are at school and I'm alone getting goo, wallowing in the delightful fog of grocery store love. Strolling leisurely through any given market, enjoying the moment, maybe even whistling, just wanting to get onesinglesolitary little bit of something when I find myself waiting in line with a mountain of stuff, no cart, and ta-da no shopping bag. Luckily, I have two hands at my disposal and the conveyor belt is not yet in motion. Then, it's my turn. I casually accompany my groceries lollygagging on the conveyor belt until the beeping begins. The beeping from the scanner at once triggers panic and sweat, which it very well should because conveyor belts in most German grocery stores are short and goods progress towards the drop off or, if you're lucky, mini cul-de-sac at the speed of light.

Note: Lines at the grocery store move very quickly because there are no baggers and people throw their things into their rental cart so they can bag in peace at one of the bagging counters, but if you don't have a cart 'cause you didn't have a euro to throw in the deposit slot, then you, my friend, are up a dry creek without a paddle and ultimately end up slowing down the line (as if this cake didn't have enough icing!).

So back to the vision I was so desperately trying to give life to. There I am unprepared as hell, sweating my brains out, wondering why the heck I haven't learned my lesson after more than 3,000 trips to the grocery store, using the bottom part of my thankfully long 80s flashback t-shirt as a makeshift grocery transport, realizing that the shirt won't hold everything and I'm gonna have to break down and buy a damn shopping bag (it's a matter of principle, people), pay, smile at the cashier lady, smile at the people tapping their feet behind me, wipe the waterfall of sweat out of my eyes, and all the while pinky-swearing myself that I will alwaysandforever have a coin and a bag with me no matter where the heck I go. . .

In celebration of the little fitness studio I call "life"!

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