Saturday, 3 February 2007

I go shopping with my mother. We descend in the lift to the basement and open the garage door with the 'clicker'. The car, a 2001 Accord bought last year for $15,000, has 136,600 kilometers on the clock. She thinks it was a good deal. So do I. Her mechanic organised the purchase after she had her car accident, which resulted in the 1991 Camry being totalled.

We drive down The Esplanade to the post office, where she picks up the mail for the Country Womens Association. She's the hall coordinator currently. Then it's off to the Big Top shopping centre, just around the corner.

Woolworths is a huge, barn-like store with lots of space between the aisles. The fruit and vegetable section is immense. You can buy three different types of mango, for example. And she does. There's also a special type of vegetable called broccolini which, as far as I can tell, is just baby broccoli.

If you turn left before getting to the meat section, you pass by a set of shelves that display the many types of bread the store stocks. There is, of course, a bakery on-site. My mother scans the offerings, bypassing the soft flour seed rolls, the soft grain rolls, the crusty lunch rolls, and the soft wholemeal lunch rolls, and steps through into the inner sanctum, intent on securing a supply of Scottish baps. My father likes baps, apparently. Here's a picture of my mother ordering baps:

She does, however, pick up a long crusty sour dough stick, on special. But that's not the reason she bought it. "The fact that it was on special is a bonus," she says, as she eyes the plastic containers filled with Goulburn Valley fruit. "If there's only enough fresh fruit for you and Peter," she says, "I can have this."

Prices, however, have gone up so that she's put off buying any. "It's amazing the way things keep going up," she says.

Meat she prefers to buy from the local butcher on King Street, off Cotton Tree. "I've had tough meat from here," she says. "I've had some questionable purchases."

We head for the pickles and chutneys. "Do you like mustard?" she asks me. "Peter didn't like it, so I've stopped buying it."

At the check-out she chats with Tonielle, who normally works at the Buderim store. Today, for a change, she's working here because they were short-staffed. While I wait for the items to ring through the check-out, I make a new friend.

The trolley stuffed with $80-worth of groceries, mainly fresh fruit and vegetables, we head back to the car, then drive to the local appliance discount retailer, Deasy's.

While I have a quick smoke outside the Vespa dealership, she heads inside to look over the microwaves. Their unit has started to act up; the 10-second and one-second buttons do not work. After I put out my clandestine cigarette (they disapprove), I enter the store and find her in conversation with a salesman.

I point her to the LG model, which has a round back, making cleaning easier. But is the space big enough? We call dad on my mobile and ask him to measure it. "We'll call back in five minutes," my mother tells him. "How do I turn this off?" she asks me. "Press the red button," I say. "But there's no red button." I show her how to do it.

We look at the Heier model. But it's finished with stainless steel and black plastic. "It's not me," she says. "It's a bit too high heels and nail polish." We stick with the LG.

The transaction well underway, I cross to the computer section. My mother's current computer is about nine or ten years old. It still has Windows 98 installed. Yesterday, I advised her to buy a new computer and printer. So now, we're looking at an Acer TravelMate 2480 with an 80GB hard disk and 512MB of RAM. I also look at the Epson Stylus CX3900, which has a scanner and copier as well as printing functionality.

The salesman also points us to the Microsoft Office Home kit, which costs $290.

My mother was born in 1929 and she's a Libra.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nothing made sense until the last sentence: My mother was born in 1929 and is a Libra, then it all became clear.