Thursday, January 08, 2009

Russian Supermarkets

One thing we never worried about when we lived in Melbourne was when to do grocery shopping. The Safeway 2 minutes up the street from us was open 24 hours a day and only closed on Good Friday and Christmas. This was great for us students because we had weird shopping habits that usually revolved around when we finished our term papers. Before that, we usually subsisted on a constant supply of instant noodles, potato chips and for Packrat, Jolt Cola (the choice Cola for hackers and twice the amount of sugar and caffeine as regular colas). It was also therapeutic to shop in the middle of the night because we could roam the aisles while the men in black (the packers wore black all the time) re-stacked the shelves and the aisles feel even wider than they are.

Now, fast forward to now, in Singapore. There are a few 24 hour supermarkets now. One in Holland Village, a Cold Storage, where we used to live and now another one near us, an NTUC which is the locals' supermarket. We usually like the Cold Storage one but it's much more expensive than NTUC so NTUC ends up being where we reluctantly shop but shop out of necessity. So last night, after the kids got to bed, we went grocery shopping and since it was late, we went to the 24 hour NTUC.

But seriously, it shouldn't call itself a 24 hour supermarket. We needed to get vegetable and fruit for the kids, primarily. But when we got there, it was like a scene out of one of those news reels about markets in the former communist Russia where the shelves were empty but the market was full of people. Seriously. No fresh food. No more veg, barely any fruit, just rows and rows of empty shelves and baskets. Packrat and I stood and stared slack-jawed in amazement and not good amazement. How can they call themselves a 24 hour supermarket if all the food's sold out in the first 12 hours of the day? Well, yes, there were still dried goods and all but darn it, I wanted my fruit and vegetables.

So all we managed to pick up was half a pumpkin, the least sad ears of corn and 2 pears. I think we even bought like we were Russian peasants and like I'm sure the Russian peasants were, we were extremely disgruntled. If we had pitch forks, we'd revolt. And the irony is NTUC is a Union owned supermarket and is supposed to be for the people and by the people.

So much for that.

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Ondine tossed this thought in at 09:10

1 thoughts...

1 thoughts...

At 8:08 pm Blogger Tym said...

At least you know their food is fresh, not sitting on the shelves for days ...


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