Observations at the Supermarket

An eminent snow storm is an event of epic proportions in Jordan. After all, it’s not something we’re used to, not even something that happens every year, despite the fact that this is the second year in a row. People are dashing out to stock on bread and groceries like there’s no tomorrow, which would be good if all that shopping kept them home for the next couple of days instead of blocking streets and causing traffic jams which, like the tragic events that took place last year, could cost others their lives. The countdown has begun, few hours before storm Huda graces us with her presence. I woke up this morning with no reason to leave the house, and having finished work early I was looking forward to a day of Agatha Christie books and a wide array of movies to choose from. But then somehow it hit me that this would be probably my last chance to get out of the house for the next few days, and to be honest we didn’t have enough milk for sahlab, and that was reason enough to go on a short drive to the nearby supermarket. The relatively large supermarket was thronging with people. I dodged my way through the aisles, picking things off shelves and returning them again after thinking that it’s not the best idea to have too much chocolate and cookies handy while home-bound. After some negotiations I settled on the final groceries that seemed reasonable enough and stood in the line that formed in front of the cash counter, the like of which this supermarket doesn’t witness too often, it looked like there was a rumored war indeed. Like most people I’m not fond of waiting in queues, it really feels like a waste of time, precious minutes of your life wasted doing nothing if you only choose to stare at the back of the person directly ahead of you and do nothing else. However, sometimes waiting in line has its advantages, like being there to take your surroundings in and perhaps get a load of something interesting or overhear an interesting conversation. As I waited, I caught a glimpse of a fifty-something looking woman standing nearby. The reason I took notice of her was that 3 little girls had just come in and were ecstatic to see her. They were obviously sisters, they looked alike but each of them had a distinctive feature that set her apart from the other two. One had golden curly hair, another one had brown wavy hair and the eldest one had black, slightly wavy hair. The gathered around the older lady and yelled things that indicated she was their grandmother and they were surprised to run into her there. They were acting like they haven’t seen her in ages, which obviously they did since they apparently live in the same area or at least visit often as the grandmother’s reaction wasn’t that of one who hadn’t seen her granddaughters in a year or two. But the girls were going crazy, and the grandmother tried to contain them by humoring them and telling them to go buy whatever they liked (God bless grandmothers, they should rule the world), but they didn’t go off right away as they had something important to tell her which is that they saw her car outside and there was a “boy” in it, to which she responded that it was their grandfather. The whole scene made my day for some reason. The little girls reminded me so much of my nieces, the way they dressed, the way they talked, the way they picked which stuff to buy and how to share. And they were so happy getting chocolate and kinder surprise and whatnot, like they’re getting ready for the storm. I bet they can’t wait for the snow. The age of innocence where you can’t get enough snow and you never want it to melt away. I remember when I was a child how I used to get upset when my father would pray for the snow to go away. Little did I know I would have the same wish years later when snow meant being trapped at home and not being able to run your errands and do what you needed to do. Or to think of all the people to whom snow means unbearably cold nights and leaking roofs. But the snow is coming whether you like it or not. And I’m not going to lie, I am excited about it, I can’t help it. You don’t have to cry yourself to sleep and hate snow to prove that you have compassion with others, but you can help others enjoy the snow instead of suffering through it, anyway you can, because this is the way it should be. Stay warm everyone…

4 responses

  1. Well, u got to consume sa7lab! lol (I don’t like it much though)
    I hope huda will be a light visitor, some, actually many, cannot afford a hefty one. Not going to add more.
    What could possibly be the whatnot (a question that got to me) maybe crisps or juice
    This line is what made me pause the most: “… and not being able to run your errands and do what you needed to do” – y do we need to “do” things? I mean going and erranding (it can have an ing, it can!) our lives, to catch on, to be somewhere, to engage (in jobs or whatever) …

    • Yes we do 🙂 Not every year though, but we had snow last winter and there’s talk of snow this year too, Mediterranean climate in the North and the middle of the country, but it also snows over the southern parts where it’s mostly deserts

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