Thursday, December 13, 2007

Why I hate going to the grocery store

Don't get me wrong, its not everywhere that i hate grocery shopping. I seem to have acquired this dislike here in Russia. You might think its because everything is written in Russian, or that the cashier people inevitably ask some question or yell something I dont understand and I feel completely stupid, blankly standing there, or because we have to load our backpacks to the breaking point then carry these monstrously heavy things back on the Metro hoping that maybe, just maybe, I can actually get inside quick enough and find a seat before all the sitting space is gone, then trudge home through the sloppy, coldness for 20 minutes to finally arrive at our building and walk up two flights of stairs before collapsing in exhaustion and throwing the backpack down loathing the day when I'll have to put it back on again for the next trip. You may think this, but you'd be wrong. The reason I hate going to the grocery store here is that no matter what day it is, no matter what time it is, the place always seems to jam-packed with tons of people, crowding every aisle with carts, which because of the ultra-slick floors always seem to be impossible to control, and slide every which way except of course the way you want them to go. Just walking in to the place makes every muscle in my body tense up. Its enough to give even the most socially resiliant people social anxiety disorder. I used to enjoy crowds, big celebrations and large gatherings, but this has indeed waned over the years. Combine that with living for a year and a half in the wide open spaciousness and relaxed, slow-paced environment of Namibia and you can see why this type of situation puts me near overload. Pair me up with Sam, who loathes social situations and is a self-proclaimed introvert who would be perfectly content to stay in his room and not see anyone for weeks, and its like throwing 2 cats into a river. Sometimes we work together and cling to each other to make it out alive. Other times we have ended up trying to stay afloat by using the other as our personal life-ring. And the life-ring unfortunately didn't fare too well. But thank God for self-revelation. It doesn't make grocery-shopping any more enjoyable...but I think it does make our marriage more enjoyable. I still dislike grocery shopping here. But at least Sam and I don't end up disliking each other through the experience. Knowing our weaknesses may not make us less weak, but like the great philosopher G.I. Joe says, "Knowing is half the battle."

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