Monday 2nd August 2010.
I find myself at midday with two of the three couples currently staying at Casa Rosada, deciding that they would like to book in for dinner that evening in the garden?
12.30 and having agreed a menu with them I rush off to the market to see what fish is left, if any. I succeed in securing three bream, the fourth person batted for the vegetarians. So onward to Pingo Doce, my favoured supermarket to secure a few ingredients for a veggie main course.
The supermarket car park is packed to capacity, there are not enough trolleys to go round, and there is a security man on the door only allowing 5 customers in as every 5 customers leave.
December 24th 2005. Sudden flashback to Blighty where I am fighting my way through madding crowds in Sainsburys Islington on Christmas Eve. My memory is even shorter. How could I ever forget the same Monday last year when we encountered this very same situation, but in our neighbouring Spanish town of Ayamonte.
The first Monday in August is the day the Portuguese and Spanish descend on their holiday villas, overrun the supermarkets in hordes and fill at least two trolleys per family with curry powder, tisanes and plonk...... Whisky, Baileys, Superbock, processed and frozen foods of all types and enough toilet roll to supply a public convenience.Will it last the the month, I say?
Oohh suddenly I am allowed in having procured a trolley from a departing customer for um euro....... and let the battle begin for a log of goats cheese, some cherry tomatoes and wine. In your dreams kiddo, " Nao Sao Mate" - no wine of my choosing to be had. They must have " come in the night and stolen the wine". I start standing in line. "New queue" - a shorter line, but whats in their trolley, no I´ll stay put, she´s a slow checkout girl anyway!! The man in front of me only has two items so benign individuals with trolleys stacked to bust let him to the front of the queue. This is unheard of, it can`t be Portugal. Oh yes it is, an incident is breaking out two trolleys behind me when a woman with two trolleys again overflowing with frozen hamburgers and toilet rolls charges into the middle of the queue, claiming her son had been holding a place for her while she had been overloading the trolley. This doesn´t go down well. Having explained to Maria, a sua vendedora de balcao hoje ( Your checkout girl today )what my fresh root ginger was, I flee the snakepit as fast as I can.
2.30. Doesn´t time fly when you are enjoying yourself? - Should have gone to Lidl, where if I spent over €15 on my till receipt I qualified for a draw and stood to win free shopping for a year at Lidl to the tune of €1,500. Thank god for German supermarkets eh?
Remember remember the first monday in August. Never again!!!!!!!