Thursday, June 3, 2010

Yet again...

I walked into Lider to see that all of the small carts were taken up. I even checked under all the registers, twice, but in the end decided to just go without, as a full sized cart would seem too much for my few purchases. But, as always, other things caught my eye and eventually I was walking through the produce section with my arms stacked with cheese, tortillas, granola, coffee mix, a costa milk bar (especially appealing because, unlike many other Chilean chocolates, this one tastes nothing like wax), jello mix, soy milk, and a Brazilian themed soccer mug, when I started to feel everything slip. First the cheese flew off the top and hit the ground with a big smacking noise. Then, probably in an attemp to reach out and grab it, I triggered a full avalanche of my groceries and everything started to fall off the top.

Thankfully, only half my groceries fell, and the glass mug was still in my hand. However, as I awkwardly tried to squat down to pick up my things without losing the remaining stuff in my arms, I suddenly became especially aware of the embarrasing moment that had just happened, and the fact that there were a whole bunch of people just watching me and waiting for me to get out of the way. This fact, combined with the one that I was really attempting to carry too many oddly shaped things in my arms, seemed to slow down the process even more, and I couldnt seem to get everything back up without losing an item in the process.

As it always seems to go, of course, nobody would step up and offer a helping hand. What makes it worse, is that if I were to go ahead and let out my natural reaction of a humble laugh or comment on my misfortune, everybody else would reply with a scowl or complete indifference. If nobody´s going to help, I almost wish they would react in at least some way!


  1. I'm a grocery juggler as well, and things have fallen, and everyone just stands there, it's true. Also, I moved someone's (two older women's) basket along in the line the other day when they stepped out (without saying anything) to find one more thing. When they came back, they were like "what did you do?" and I said, I moved your basket up in like, weren't you holding your place? And they looked at me like I had two heads. I checked, I only have one.

    And yes, on the waxy chocolate. Acceptable: costa milk and sahne nuss, though I don't like the almonds in the chocolate. Unacceptable, trencito (which I thought meant little braid for the longest time, until I realized it was little train), chubi, chocolatits (have you seen that one? great name), and pretty much anything else.

  2. Lydia... this is where the "solidaridad chilena" thing really comes into question, isn't it?
    Eileen- I wonder if the problem was that you moved the basket ahead instead of just stepping in front of it?
    Am I being cynical? (English style, which, of course, has nothing whatsoever to do with cínico en español!)
    re chocolate- I'll go for the Trencito over Sahnenuss... I like my chocolate melty and smooth rather than full of lumpy things...
    Of course, give me an 85% cocoa Lindt bar and I'm in sheer heaven!

  3. Eso es lo que llamo "mala onda", el hecho que nadie te ayudara a recoger las cosas que se te cayeron. Sólo me pregunto lo siguiente: confiarías en la gente que se acercara a ayudarte? Quizás existe ese miedo de que puedas pensar que te van a robar y por eso no se te acercó nadie. Muchas veces he estado tentada a decirle a algún turista "porfavor, guarde su cámara (gigante), no se exponga" pero me preocupa el hecho de asustarlos por aparecer "de la nada" a darles una recomendación.

    Curioso el hecho de que a Eileen no le guste el Trencito, una amiga argentina lo ama, lo que me hace pensar "quizás cómo será el chocolate allá". Vamos a probar un Lindt, a ver qué tal.

  4. I've had some of those embarassing grocery store moments. L. keeps trying to tell me that only in Santiago are people so indifferent and I always want to tell him that I've experienced it other places, but he doesn't believe me. He chalks it up to something else.

  5. That coldness extends further than you imagine. I lived in Chile for a little while. I lived in Providencia by condel. I saw something similar but more serious. My girlfriends dad had woken me up as he had heard a fight on the street, I looked through the window as a group of youth ran away from 1 man. Everyone but one girl could outrun him. The unlucky women looked like she was being punched by the man. I then realized that she was being stabbed. I yelled out (my first reaction) that the police were coming and he better stop. To my horror my girlfriends dad tried to shut me up and I looked around and saw everyone watching and no one saying anything. The groceries are the tip of the iceberg. What was unnerving wasn't the stabbing itself but the realization that if it happened to me it was likely I would just bleed to death while people minded their own business.

  6. Clarify the people who were watching were all staring from their apartments. There were lots