Archive | April, 2013

Supermarkets are evil

3 Apr


It all started innocently enough.
I’ve just returned to the workforce full-time after a long absence during which I grew three people in my stomach from scratch). It’s been amazing. It’s a dream position, I’m enjoying every second and even the bus ride to and from work is fun.

I have to be honest. Some things have fallen by the wayside. Granted I’m only two weeks in and it will take some time to adjust but I really need to keep on top of my laundry, do the ironing instead of shifting the pile of unironed clothes onto different chairs in my lounge room and I my son has been getting lunch orders at school three times a week instead of one.

Anyway, today I left work before everyone else to race to school and pick up my son, niece and nephew. My husband called me repeatedly. He was wondering what time I’d be home just in case we’d see each other before he left for work at 3. I’d arrive home at ten past 3. Oh well, see you whenever.

My son has art class on Wednesdays at 4.30, just enough time to head home, tidy up and get dinner started before leaving again to drop him off. I haven’t grocery shopped all week. Since starting work I’ve been efficient and organised and shopping online but after the long weekend all delivery windows were full. I had to grocery shop in person and since we’d now run out of Butter Soft it was critical that I shopped this afternoon. I had exactly an hour to get it done before picking Philip up from school.

I headed to my local shops, took my little kids to the toilet, bought them a snack (a donut for one and a sushi roll for the other) and into the supermarket we went. I raced through the aisles and filled my trolley with an efficiency I didn’t know I was capable of. We needed soft rolls, bayonet light globes, kitty litter and Butter Soft.

The cold food aisle was the last before I could head to the check out. The trolley was very full and I had just enough room for our precious Butter Soft (we looooove our Butter Soft). My son ran ahead. He knows exactly where it is and it’s his job to get it.

It was all gone.

A wave of fury engulfed me. This was the second time I’d tried to buy Butter Soft in two weeks. Last time we had a bit left but now we were totally out. My husband took rolls to work, my son ate Vitaweats with butter and vegemite every day, I was still eating hot cross buns for breakfast. No other butter will do.

My heart started to beat loudly. I felt the meltdown coming on. I tried to push it down. I reminded myself that I had chocolate bullets in the trolley and if I could just get myself to the car and throw a few back I might feel better about the fact that the one thing I absolutely had to buy today was sold the frig out. How is it that supermarkets manage to run out of the items we most like to buy? Isn’t it their job to make sure they have plenty of stock? Do they have some in the back room and they’re hiding it from me? It’s now 5pm and I’m tired and hungry and cold and I don’t have the time or energy to go to another shopping centre.

I pushed the overflowing trolley to the nearest checkout and started unpacking. I unpacked in a way that aimed to punish the cashier for the fact the Butter Soft was all gone. Instead of carefully putting all the bread together, the cold foods, the heavy bottles, I placed them haphazardly. That’ll fuck ‘em. Try and pack properly amidst the chaos. If only you’d had Butter Soft, my day would have been perfect. Every day has to be PERFECT.

Sensing my mood the cashier didn’t bother to greet me. I finished unpacking and started loading bags into the trolley.

“Is there a reason you’re always out of Butter Soft,” I asked.

“Ah, I don’t know. We’re out?”

“Yes, and there was none last week either. Just unsalted.”

“I can let our manager know,” she said helpfully.

“Won’t do me much good in the morning will it?”

“We normally restock every night.”

“I’ve just started working and this is when I can grocery shop. Are you going to be out of the things I need every Wednesday? There wasn’t any Butter Soft, you’re out of Yoplait Strawberry Yoghurt again and you’ve sold out of Nice biscuits. How is that possible?”

“Um, I’m not sure,” she mumbled.

I stopped talking. I handed over my Fly Buys card, let the Eftpos machine beep a few times before removing my card and then walked to the card feeling defeated. I’d have to come back to the shops again. We really needed Butter Soft. We don’t like any other spread. Our lives revolve around Butter Soft, Moccona Indulgence, full-fat strawberry yoghurt and Nice biscuits.

Some things are just INFURIATING. I feel like they deliberately run out of popular items to force us to come back more than once in a week. It’s a conspiracy. We’re being duped.

I’ve just placed a small grocery order online and it include 6 containers of Butter Soft, 4 packets of Nice biscuits and the bayonet light globes I forgot. God help me if I get an ‘out of stock’ email. I’m telling you know. I can handle work, the kids, uni, coming up with an interesting outfit EVERY day but don’t mess with my food. That’s what will tip me over the edge, that and having to grocery shop more than once a week.

Is it time to start losing sleep over North Korea?

2 Apr

North Korea pic

North Korea is making me nervous.

I know there is conflict all over the world and there’s the threat of heightened conflict all the time but in my mummy-brain it goes something like this – North Korea declares war on South Korea and Japan, the U.S. and its allies step in to defend South Korea and Japan, we are a U.S. ally so our troops who were just about home from Afghanistan are sent out again and then some, every country that has a grievance with the U.S. backs North Korea (the middle east, Russia, China) and the rest of us become targets. World War III begins and every book and movie I have every watched about war time – sitting back smugly because there’s no way leaders are stupid enough to fight like that again – starts to come true. What’s to become of my children?

I am terrified.

North Korea said on Saturday it was entering a “state of war” with South Korea after coming under international sanctions for its nuclear test. North Korea has been threatening to attack the South and U.S. military bases since the beginning of March because it’s this time every year that the North and South carry out routine military drills and have done since the end of the Korean War 60 years ago.

It’s thought that few North Koreans believe their country will risk starting a full-out war, particularly because they are so powerfully outnumbered by America’s powerful military and a successful missile strike on a U.S. target would be suicide. But somehow I don’t think leader Kim Jong Un applies much logic to his decisions.

The two Koreas have been in a technical state of war because their 1950-53 conflict ended under an armistice and not a peace treaty, although Pyongyang said earlier in March that as far as they are concerned the truce is no longer valid.

North Korea has issued two photos to media that appear to show plans for striking the U.S. mainland and rallies are being organised in support of this move. North Korean soldiers are putting on a show that they are gearing up for battle, shrouding their jeeps and vans with camouflage netting, painting signs saying “Death to the U.S. Imperialists” and urging people to fight with “arms, not words”.

Most believe it’s all for show. North Korea is trying to force Washington back to the negotiating table to pressure the new president in Seoul, Park Geun-hye to change policy on North Korea. In July it will be 60 years since the end of the Korean War and in that time South Korea has grown from a poor nation to the world’s 15th largest economy while North Korea is left struggling and has a per capital income on par with sub-Sahara Africa.

North Korea’s national airline, Air Koryo, is adding flights to its spring line up and is preparing to host scores of expected tourists to Pyongyang. I for one would be reconsidering North Korea as a holiday destination. I hear the South is lovely, but I might stay away from there too for now.


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