Lucy Popescu

freedom to write, review, travel…

Scorpions and plastic bags

Posted by lucypopescu on April 17, 2009

Discovering that I shared a bathroom with a scorpion reminded me of the flipside to living in a hot country. When it migrated to the hall, I placed two bowls – one on top of the other – and waited for Jaime to return and deal with it. Cowardly, I know, but then scorpions aren’t my thing. I had got used to thinking that the flat was scorpion-free but realise that now I will have to start being a bit more careful – no longer can I walk barefoot with abandon and rummage in all sorts of dark places. I will have to start checking my shoes before wearing them, the bathroom mat has to be hung to dry after every shower and no more stock-piling.

This afternoon, I was accosted by security at our local supermarket for using a rucksack instead of plastic bags (which i abhor) to carry my groceries. Admittedly, you are supposed to leave your bags in the lockers provided at the entrance, but Jaime told me that a law had been passed that day that is supposed to deter people from using plastic bags so I thought it would not matter. I saw no sign of it. They make it impossible to be ecologically minded if you can’t carry in your own bags. I was annoyed because the girl on the till waited until I had paid and watched me carefully pack everything before calling security. With my (still) limited Spanish I was only able to shout ‘Cuál es el pinche problema? ‘ (what’s the bloody problem) and ‘cabras locos’ (crazy goats).  This didn’t go down too well, and a crowd formed, but I was eventually released with no further incident.

Again, my limited Spanish had let me down. I know the word ‘bolsa’ for bag but they had used ‘mochila’ which flummoxed me. Jaime says I must let them pack my groceries and tip them. I don’t mind the tipping, but I am sorry to say that I have not found one person yet who has turned grocery packing into an art form! Generally, they stuff all the heaviest provisions together in one bag, reinforce it with more plastic and then use a completely new bag for the one remaining item that inevitably is ridiculously light. It seems to be an exercise in how to use as many plastic bags as possible. I have resolved to tip them, but in future I will pack myself. I will then empty the plastic bags at my locker and refill my rucksack, before returning the bags to the till.

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