Fancy a trolley?

23 Nov

(We’re back in London now after two weeks in China.)

I took my new shopping cart (I’m sorry, “trolley”) out for a spin this afternoon. The only time I ever miss driving is grocery shopping time. Our flat is in a nice area, but there are absolutely no grocery stores nearby. Tesco Metro is one mile one way, Waitrose and Sainsbury’s a mile the other way. There’s a Tesco Express a half mile away, but it is more like a convenience store and only good for bananas, water and the £2 sandwich meal deal. Ever since I realized I’d be lugging groceries a mile I tried to convince Stephen we needed a wheeling shopping cart/trolley.

“Those are only for old people!” he told me.

In Chicago the popular shopping carts were entirely metal. Here they are almost like a backpack (“rucksack”) on wheels.  A couple weeks ago we bought some groceries at Waitrose then bought some lamps at Argos. After walking less than a block with the goods, suddenly the carts weren’t just for old people and we bought one on the way home.

Today was my first time using the trolley on my own. Since we bought it and immediately filled it, I haven’t yet had the experience of wheeling it empty to the store. It was awkward. I felt stupid wheeling the empty cart, so I tried various ways of carrying it. The handle is too narrow to swing on my arm, so I just kind of slipped it on my hand and lifted it up. But that quickly got too heavy and I switched to wheeling. But then the pavement got rough and I again went to carrying it. I bet I was fun to watch.

While we were living in Notting Hill we got spoiled by the Tesco Metro a block down the street. Stephen loved their chicken curry and I liked their mushroom pasta. The Tesco Express carries neither of those so I had to walk 1.3 miles to the Tesco Metro today. 1.3 miles doesn’t seem like far, but it is when it’s cold and you’re lugging a cart. It feels even longer when the cart is full.

When I arrived I was faced with a problem — what was I supposed to do with my cart? I couldn’t wheel it while carrying a basket. So I put it inside my shopping cart. As I wandered through the tight aisles I realized almost every person in the store had a little trolley like mine. Some were carrying it empty with their food in a basket, while others put their food directly in their cart. When I went to check out I realized that those who didn’t want to carry their cart through the store simply left it up front. It was kind of funny to see all the different colored trolleys up there. It reminded me of all the strollers parked outside the Scooby-Doo ride at Kings Island.

“These must be really good,” the checkout lady said as she scanned my stacks of curry and pasta. I felt like some pathetic single girl who doesn’t cook. I like to think I am capable of cooking, I just don’t like the hassle. Why make my own curry or mushroom pasta when Tesco’s is so cheap and so good?

I packed the bag of my trolley to the brim and carried the rest of my groceries in my panda tote, then began the long journey home. I now have sore arms and legs and can understand why grocery delivery services are so popular here.

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One Response to “Fancy a trolley?”

  1. travelingmad November 23, 2010 at 7:49 am #

    Cool post. Everyone has these “trolleys” here in Paris too. My friends and I call them “granny baskets.”

    They are very practical and quite convenient. I don’t have one because I live close to 3 different supermarches. I take 2 or 3 of my recyclable bags and usually make do.

    When I lived in England in Oxforshire (near Banbury), the grocery store was miles away. Luckily I lived at a college and didn’t have to prepare meals, but if I lived on my own in the village it would be such a hassle.

    Being from a large city in America we always have convenience stores. Thankfully I’ve never had to go too far for my groceries.

    If I ever do though, I’m getting one of those. I’d get a weird color or design too so I could stand out from all the other trolleys.

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