i finally got the fridge/freezer and washing machine today from the agents. they’re a bit crappy but the giant dark green fridge has a sort of charm at least. after about an hour of cleaning out (including some dead flies) i decided to do my first big shop since moving in.
i’d heard some other teachers mention they shop at asda so i thought i’d give it a go. i wanted to treat myself (again) so opted for some pork belly and kung po chicken ingredients. a short list but i thought i’d just browse the aisles and hope that would jog my memory as to what i needed.
it’s a lovely day in portsmouth and there’s lots of traffic, so by the time i got there i was pretty hot and already wanted to get it over with and come back and cook that sweet belly. the car park was bad enough and the parade of people smoking or lighting fags as they left the store was suprising because of the sheer volume. and then i went in. i got a big trolley and noticed how fucking huge this place was, two floors and seemingly all my needs taken care of. i’ve never shopped in an asda’s before and expected to get used to where things were, this was sort of a learning experience for future trips too. within a few minutes of wandering aimlessly toward the first aisle i noticed a group of children, about 10yrs old farting and smelling eachothers farts in the middle of one of the aisles. fine, skip that one, onto the next. it was a meat aisle and didn’t really seem to have much so i pushed past some people (it was pretty fucking busy) and into the veg/fruit bit. on my list were: greens, chinese leaf and pak choi. did they have them? did they fuck. it was the worst stocked vegetable area i’ve seen and just had tons of prepacked salads, rows and rows of them, but hardly much produce. fine, i’ll go to the next aisle, maybe they’ve got them in different places. they didn’t have anything i wanted and i actually felt surprised they had brocolli.
no joy with the veg, i think i had some tomatoes in the trolley but that was it. belly time to cheer me up and i wondered to the back of the store, walked past the hot meat counter (cooked chickens etc), past the pre-prepared indian takeaway counter, past the smallest fish counter i’ve ever seen and then i hit the bakery. no butchers/meat counter? wtf? this place is huge. they have an opticians. i resigned myself to the fact that i wouldn’t be getting anything and just thought i’d run round and at least get a few things i needed. i abandoned my trolley in the frozen aisle next to two fat women riding mobility scooters arguing about whether or not to buy potato wedges.
what i couldn’t understand was a) why anyone shopped there b) why it was so busy and c) why they had decided to let people do whatever the fuck they want.
imagine the noise when you go into a swimming pool when they have the inflatables out, or when you go past a fairground. it was unbelievable. kids shouting, kicking, punching, crying and the parents (of all ages) completely ignoring them and putting crap in the trolley. one kid was shouting and punching his mum’s arse repeatedly as i walked past and she was just walking along talking to her friend. i held back the urge to shout at him to behave but i’d already subconsciously made the decision to abandon all hope in there. as i walked out clutching my car keys i made the decision never to go back.
i went there because of my new budget (having forked out my entire overdraft for the flat) but sat in the hot car, i felt like calling out for a waitrose. i even considered driving back to the chichester tesco’s – i can’t believe i ever thought that place was bad.
i just want somewhere relatively quiet to shop with lots of food/cooking options. so when i got back, i went to the coop round the corner and spent £15 on some nice groceries and came back and did some searching. there’s a tesco outside the city that’s open 24hrs so i think i’ll wait a few hours until the traffic dies down and then try for the belly.