25 October, 2006

Sometimes Bananas Are Salami

This afternoon, between battling life-threatening cramps with what amounted to about 10 doses of Advil (sorry if that’s too much information, but this is real life, people) and removing my still-damp-and-stinking-of-mildew-and-won’t-fully-dry-this-side-of-April-because-of-the-humidity clothes from the line, I made a quick trip to the grocery store. Shopping is my chore this week, and we were out of fruits and vegetables.

The small open market down the street was already closed for the day, and the next little shop I came across only offered frozen fare. I went to the next closest store and gingerly picked out the lucky produce that would be fortunate enough to grace our table. Everything was pretty sub-par: bruised, unripe or overripe, smattered with an unidentifiable liquid, and kind of smelly.

A lady who worked there was stocking a bin full of pumpkin seeds. She kept sifting them through with her hands, not for any perceivable purpose, but more like a kid in a sandbox- absentmindedly, maybe out of boredom or maybe because it was fun for her. It was sort of icky, but sort of funny, and every 30-40 seconds she popped a small handful in her mouth and chomped away.

At the other stores we usually shop at, you have to weigh and price your produce yourself before taking it to the checkout counter, but I looked around and didn’t see any scales or weigh stations, so I proceeded toward the registers. As the checker was scanning my stuff, I was rooting around in my purse trying to find some small bills and change.

Pack of gum {beep}, toss to the side.
Pre-packed carrots {beep}, toss to the side.
Bunch of bananas {…}, Houston, we have a problem.

The checker held up my bag of bananas and said,

“(mumble, mumble) …salami…”

I’m thinking, “Salami? That’s clearly not salami.” So I just shook my head.

“(mumble, mumble) …saLAMi!” She shook the bag and pointed back to the store.

Shrug. “Ne razumijem.” (I don’t understand.)

Then she performed a little scale charade and I got the picture. Of course, when I approached the checkstand to begin with, there were no other customers in sight, but now there were 6 or 7 people waiting impatiently behind me and my cart. They kindly parted and I squeezed through with my wares. After some investigation, I figured out that I needed to take the stuff to the meat counter to be weighed. Ahhhh, salami.

It was smooth sailing from there on out. I guess you learn something new every day.


Tim & Sara said...

It's times like these when, if I were another, crueler version of myself, I would laugh and point and say, ha ha I remember that crap. But since I am the compassionate saint of a friend that I am, I will say, oh, Lexy poo, I understand, don't worry, all will be well and they'll only recognize you everywhere you go in that fair city of Rijeka for another year, unless, of course, they move to Portland next year like you and see you there, as I will, your faithful friend, Saucelito.

Alexis said...

Thanks. Thanks a lot... :-)

So if/when I move to P-town, you WILL reserve an apartment next door to yours so that I can be your resident female version of Lawrence, right?

zoran said...

Can I move to P-town, too? I mean, Tim, Sara and Alexis...has to be heaven on earth :D

Good work in the store Alexis, you are learning, aren't you?

Anonymous said...

Yes! Now even Zoran recognizes how truly amazing Portland is! Good job, Zoran!

Alexis--kudos on even leaving the house! You are a much stronger (or at least better medicated) woman than myself! =)

Tim & Sara said...

Hey that happened to me in Zadar last year. What genius thought, "I know we can save money by buying only one scale. And I guess instead of directing people to where in the store that one scale is we'll stick it in the meat department. Why? No reason. I mean our store is ordered: canned goods, meat, then produce. So it only makes sense to have people back track through the store. Ooo Ooo and I know we'll put the scale in a nondescript place in the meat department too! This is going to be fun."?
At least that is what would go through my head.