Questions and Groceries
We do our groceries, we ask ourselves important questions and I do battle with a beercap.
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Success! We shall not perish in the following days, for we have succeeded in doing groceries. That may not sound like a great accomplishment, but as stated we are now in a Small Village,™ which means that on a weekend day there are only about five buses to the Big City™ and back at pretty random times. Miss one by half a minute and our groceries may take a) 15 minutes, b) 6 hours or c) until Monday.
First, however, breakfast is brought to our room: at exactly 9 AM, as agreed upon, our youngest hostess is at the door with coffee, orange juice, breadrolls, cheese, sausage and two soft-boiled eggs each. We trade these delicacies for our passports so we can be checked in and they can verify that we really are the expected guests and not two con artists cleverly using the fact that the real Vonne and Iwan are floating in a water basin two villages down the road. To name but an example.
Which, incidentally, brings us to the question: why does every village here have a water basin, frequently with stairs leading in and a sloping side? For one, they are often perched in between a few buildings and the road. Given that they are basically just concrete holes with water and algae, they do not make for a particularly visually pleasing highlight, so they are not there for the Kodak moment. In addition, they are not very large, so it is equally not a place to bring your rubber boat and go for some paddling; it also does not explain why each village seems to have one. The third option would be the possibility of either potable water or for swimming, but see point one: algae. They look as if you, upon sticking your foot in, would get dragged in only to arise as a moss monster, terrorizing the village at every full moon. Not to mention what would happen if you took a sip. The last explanation would be as a water reservoir for putting out fires. This is the most logical one, since fully covering a burning building in a thick layer of algae should put out any fire. But then, why do those basins all have stairs and a sloping side? Questions, questions.
To the Interspar
At any rate, we have some time to relax in the sun after breakfast, before not missing the bus and thus setting course at the Interspar supermarket. Which is basically like a regular Spar, only bigger. It turns out to be a combination of the Albert Heijn, HEMA, Gamma, Bristol and Bart Smit, as you can buy pretty much anything there, from chicken breast to motor oil. Well, except for cans of soup, apparently. It does come with the upside of offering half-liter bottles of Staropramen for the equivalent of fourty cents, or the same amount of Pilsner Urquell for eighty. A reasonable compromise, if you ask me.
After plenty of time in the shopping mall and the Interspar we once again manage to be on time for the bus back to our village and we can resume our relaxing. We shall be able to eat for the next few days. The only thing breaking our serenity is the discovery that the apartment kitchen does not have a bottle opener in it, meaning that a mere bottle cap is threatening to stand between me and my Staropramen, especially as several other utensils and objects turn out to be insufficient to remove the cap and I refuse to sacrifice my teeth, my telephone or the furniture to this task. In the end, however, I manage to improvise and uncap the bottle with the lid of an Uncle Ben’s chicken sauce jar. I am not sure whether to consider this a personal victory or a point of shame, but in either case: cheers!