Monday, December 20, 2004

Almost like home

A friend of ours from work has lent us her car this week. So it would seem that a trip to the grocery store this morning would have been just like it is at home. You know - pile the kids into the car, drive there, park, go in, get stuff, pile the stuff and the kids back in the car and you're home free.

Well, it was almost like that. Except at home I don't have to sit down and ponder maps of the most unorganized country I've ever been in (why can't the streets just run north/south, and east/west? Why are there so many one ways?) to figure out how to get somewhere that's one subway stop away. And at home, I don't have to drive chanting the mantra, "Stay left! Stay left!" and wonder if I am going to scrape something with the left side of the car.

And at home, no one bothers to separate out my groceries by category, a practice here that annoys and amuses me simultaneously. I specified that I didn't mind if my bagger put all my groceries together, but I still got my fabric softener, my apples, and my bread in three separate bags. And one gigantic bag that could have contained both my children but instead only held toilet paper, kleenex, and pull-ups. What a waste of plastic.

I don't know if you can turn on red here (so I didn't) but I do know that there's an unwritten norm that everyone - and I mean everyone - should back into their parking space in the carpark (but I didn't do that either). I was happy to be able to park at all sitting on the right side of the car. Both times I parked I was pretty crooked. It's the wrong side I tell you!

I only got lost a little. And I only got one dirty look from another driver, which I returned because I thought it was his fault, but then I realized later that it was mine so I felt a little bad. I think my children are convinced I am insane with all the audible muttering I did. "Mommy, who are you talking to?" "Shh! I'm driving!"

So it was almost like home. But I don't think we'll be buying our own car anytime soon.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ryan -
Oh my. what a wonderful story. This is the apex of grocery-shopping expeditions the world over.