The state of affairs.


The shopping list clearly included the yoghurt. A curry without yoghurt is like a beach without sand. Yet, when I arrived home the first thing H noticed was the lack of yoghurt.
On my first trip to the super market I noticed that happiness had returned to the shoppers. The Christmas was over. A weight had fallen of the hapless shoppers shoulders. Their brows of worry over expectation by others had melted away together with the pavlova. It started with some normality returning a few days ago. There even are a few smiles. The unwanted articles were either returned or had broken already. One woman returned a very colourful box where from within and ever so maddeningly, endless Christmas jingles were still forthcoming. I can’t stop this silly music she said to the indifferent cashier who wrote out the credit ticket. The shopper was visibly relieved. She decided to get her nails done.

‘You wrote ‘yoghurt’ on the list’, H said fearlessly. ‘How come you forgot?’ I saw you writing it on the list, she added, driving home her instant recall. Lately we have been on a bender, checking on each other’s mental stage, a kind off checking our ageing thermometer. Who will be the first to crack up? This game of, who was in the lead role of ‘On the Beach’ or the name of the singer in ‘do not forsake me oh my darling?’ Remember when Deborah Kerr nearly stepped on that crocodile on ‘King’s Solomon’s Mines’? ‘No, I don’t. So, there, happy now?’ I am doomed to a bib and brace in a high chair with commode.

‘I’ll tell you why I forgot the yoghurt. As I put in my coin to retrieve a trolley I noticed a flat object shimmering behind the handle of the trolley. It was a mobile phone, or, it looked like it’. Now-a-days, the phone part is obsolete, it’s what else it does. Something called social media. Everyone is into it. You can see them huddled in isolation on street corners, on the bus and trains; all social mediating on their own. It must be so good.

After I put the mobile phone in my pocket I decided to shop the items on my list including the yoghurt. In the back of my mind I would deal with the phone later on. A quick check indicated it did not have any phone buttons. It just had one button which I pressed. A colourful screen opened up. Was it a mini TV? Perhaps it was a very fancy and expensive social media unit with lots of apps. I knew that apps and e-mail and videos are available now giving many the mobility to do lots of things ‘on the run’. One apps even lets you know where you are by GPS. Truly amazing for those lost without knowing it.

I know that any conversation with those under 50 years old have at the most 20 seconds time before interruption by this social media phenomenon. It shrieks or vibrates across all conversations with more than 16 syllables and 7 vowels. CUL8tr is now a deep conversation. A conversation with those below 30 years one just has 10 seconds to get a message across.

After I filled the trolley with the hand written listed items (bar yoghurt)with smart phone in my shirt pocket, a wild looking woman marched in shouting ‘ I lost my phone, where is my fucking phone’? I calmly lifted the phone out of my shirt pocket, proud that I was still in possession of honesty, (if not of my total recall of Deborah Kerr stepping on a crocodile in 1950) I showed her triumphantly the shimmering gadget.

Gimme, gimme it, she growled. She did manage to say a quick but grudgingly ‘thanks’ but it was more like an accusation I had stolen it. Perhaps seeing it coming from my shirt pocket got her in a mindset of theft. Gimme…again. I returned her to her social media outlet cum phone.

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I went back to Aldi the second time and got the yoghurt. ‘The curry is lovely’. H, said: ‘it tastes so much better with a couple of spoonful’s of yoghurt. It softens the chilli a bit,’ she added lovingly. I fully agreed. (lovingly)

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14 Responses to “The state of affairs.”

  1. auntyuta Says:

    ” . . . . it was more like an accusation I had stolen it. Perhaps seeing it coming from my shirt pocket got her in a mindset of theft.”

    I believe I kind of know what this felt like to you. Here is our recent ALDI story. They normally ask you to show your shopping bags for inspection. Well, the other day we were kind of lucky that they did not bother to check. And would you believe, coming home, we noticed a small packet of pharmaceuticals which we did not recall having purchased.

    Then it dawned on Peter that he had purchased a packet like this some time ago. He said that he must have forgotten to take it out of the shopping bag. It just had lingered on in there for we don’t know how long. Peter reckons the tablets definitely had been paid for on some other day. But could we have proved it if our bags had been checked? We did not steal but we still felt bad about it that something had been hiding in one of our shopping bags!

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  2. petspeopleandlife Says:

    Love your yogurt/yoghurt story. I see that we in US, at least where I live spell it yogurt. I relish Greek yogurt but I had to give up dairy products and will most likely never be able to return to my former eating habits.

    The girl and her phone made me really laugh. F——g phone! That is too much to yell that out in public but it seems that young people have no manners at all. Poor parenting is what that is about.

    I see adults in the grocery aisles chatting away on their phones. And some of them have the goofiest sounds for a so called ring. Anything from barking dogs, vulgar rap, door bells, symphonies, and the list goes on.

    I’m so glad you got the yogurt for the curry. You can rest assured that you are not senile and I don’t think that you’ll ever lose your “marbles.”

    ~yvonne

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    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, in Australia swearing is quite OK, except in front of the Queen. Thank you Yvonne in believing I will not lose my marbles. I had a heck of a time to find a phone with a normal ring tone.
      What a pity you can’t eat yogurt.
      I overheard someone on the phone at the supermarket regaling to someone what she was buying. She said; ” I am INTO unsalted butter”. What a stunning revelation!

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  3. Lottie Nevin Says:

    Yoghurt and curry, yes, it’s a marriage made in heaven, a bit like yours and Helvi’s. I love your rants about smart phones and mobiles. It makes me mad to see people constantly on their phones – they’ve become like pacifiers or dummies (as we call them in UK) and they are indeed making people even dummer. When we lived in Jakarta, it really upset me to see couples out to dinner a deux and yet they never exchanged any conversation, the entire meal was spent with them engaged with their phones. I hasten to add this is universal but I use Jakarta as an example as that’s the last city that i lived in. Here in deepest rural Spain I’ve yet to see this. Hope your curry was wonderful. P.s I tried very unsuccessfully to leave a comment on your rhubarb post – not sure what went wrong but I tried about 10 times and no joy. Hope this one works!

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    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yep, it sure worked. Nice and clear. I am somewhat hostile to people in restaurants who check their phones constantly. They must be so bored (boring) . I was hoping that the Spanish have better things to do. I once lost my phone. I kept ringing and finally someone picked it up. It had fallen behind the ice-berg lettuces at Aldi’s. I have a habit of picking items from the back, thinking perhaps foolishly, that they are the freshest. My phone had slipped out of my shirt pocket, nestling itself amongst those lettuces till someone heard me ringing.
      I now have reached a stage whereby I don’t use all my pre-paid within the permissible time.
      Perhaps your rhubarb responses will wait till the crumble/cake/pudding/slushy is actually made.

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      • berlioz1935 Says:

        Get the Aldi prepaid, it last longer (365 days) than the $30 you pay. So, you don’t lose any money.

        Like

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        Hi Berlioz, Thanks for the tip.
        My phone is with Telstra pre-paid. I don’t think you can change that without buying (yet) another phone.

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      • Lottie Nevin Says:

        at least you mislaid your phone amongst the ice-berg lettuces and not the ice cream! It’s still a mystery why WP wouldn’t let me post my comment yesterday – maybe it’s because I was trying to add the link.
        Ive never been to Aldi but I’m a huge fan of Lidl which i think is very similar. It’s pouring with rain here and a bit ‘dank’ as my Oma used to say.

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  4. Lottie Nevin Says:

    talking about being dumb, I can’t even spell dumber! *dummer*πŸ˜€

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  5. gerard oosterman Says:

    Dummer is the correct spelling on my app.πŸ˜‰

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  6. Andrew Says:

    My godson is something big in Aldi – they have just moved him to Chicago. I have never been in one. I like samosas with the sort of minty cucumber sauce dip thingy. Curry and yoghurt is excellent. Phones are a substitute for conversation now rather than a means to conversing. In HK the most common use is to photograph your food. So I think Gerard you should send us a phone-photo of the curry & yoghurt.

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    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, will do but from my Nikon camera. Have as yet to take a photo with my phone. I am hesitant in trying new technologies. It so often happens when trying out something new, all hell breaks loose and ‘things’ change.
      The new windows 8.1 was a nightmare to get used to and I almost strangled the computer with the keyboard’s cord wrapping it around the mouse as well.

      Like

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