level two - find a grocery store
it seems like it would be a simple task to exit the building, something that you don’t really think about but.. nope. took me forever and a day to figure this out, which I will explain in a later post.
I found a giant pear and was excited to try it for breakfast the next morning (it didn't taste as juicy or sweet as a pear, I didn't care for it) I’m super awkward, almost running my cart into a man. fortunately, we all smile in the same language. I wait on line, listening and watching. even though I don’t totally understand the spoken language, I have a super power of reading body language very easily, in combination with some common sense- maybe I don’t understand ‘next please’ in french, but I’ve been to a grocery store before and understand the flow of conversation. it’s my turn, I plop my basket on the mini conveyor belt and wait staring off into my sleepy mind.
the cashier says something to me, and I have not a clue what it is. the woman working next to her makes some motions to take my groceries out of the basket, oh shit I hope I didn’t offend her, I guess that's not how they do it in france, as I awkwardly and rapidly remove my items. she does her thing with them and puts them to her right side, on another mini conveyor belt. I look at the people next to me, they all have their own bags and are putting their food inside… shit, really.. no bags? or the others are not buying as much as I am. that’s better off for our mama earth anyway, I am happy to see this, but it doesn’t help me in this moment, I have a cart full of groceries to carry home.
I pay and she moves on to the next grocery contestant, and I am standing there looking at all of my food in front of me. how am I going to carry this? gaaaahhhh, I look down and their is a reusable bag with a £.99 sticker on it, so I throw my hands in my pocket as I search for my change. I have never seen any of these coins before, the cashier helps me out and at this point says something to the likes of ‘forget it’ gives me the bag. she’s definitely annoyed with me and maybe feels bad for me. I put my food in the bag like I am on a speed shopping tv show and run out of there, I am so frazzled and embarrassed. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, I was so overtired at this point and completely out of my element. why did I think I could do this, that traveling to a foreign country alone was a good idea? d’accord.
I make some quinoa and ratatouille in a weird cut up pan pot without a handle and avocat, très bon. this ratatouille so good, and completely worth the trip! I could eat this everyday, what joy! I climb up the lofted bed and pass out with a slight headache, fetal position- the first position our body remembers. I have faith that tomorrow will be a better day, I mean it was my first night in a completely new place, did I expect to fit in right away? yes, haha, well now I know. don’t expect to fit in right away. this world is huge and we are all living lives in a different reality simulataneously. we are all here in this one minute of time together. this unifies us, bringing our experiences to a collective one. our differences are what make life interesting, life and exploration worth seeing and experiencing first hand. I am filled with faith as I fall asleep that tomorrow will be a better day.
what I learned - the french grocery stores I have visited do not take items out of the basket for you and do not give you plastic bags. nor do many speak english, but they do have the largest wine aisle I have ever seen in proportion to store size. I wanted was to grab some food before I went to sleep, wandering around the neighborhood of crimée I stumbled upon a brightly lit food shop close to the apartment I was staying, hooray. their prices of food are SUPER, I was greatly surprised as I make my cart basket with £.99 three heads of lettuce, artichokes, avocats, beets, quinoa, quinoa, quinoa, jars of ratatouille which ended up being a staple, how delicious.