Saturday 1 May 2021

The shop of things

The spices of people

Out shopping at the new ethnic shop up in sprawling Salford passing through the potpourri of the world of South-East Asia and just before we get to the conurbation of those of the scroll, I veer right to a place that is a magnet for Africans, the sounds and phonetics getting ever so familiar if you stop to listen.

People in chariots of fancy, none horse-drawn, the bit on the bridle is a pedal, and the carriage yields to the turn of the steering and the stirrups are more commanding of posture; the seat belt is soon undone as they come to a halt at the stables behind the shop, I guess that would be the car park.

Lost in the aisles

Two men, probably husbands, as they looked out of place, sent on an errand completely oblivious of what they were to purchase, the questions they asked the staff did not carry them any further until they had to set up a video conference and the instructions became clearer, they left before I did and may not have to return having fulfilled what they were sent to do.

The commander was probably twice the size of his friend, what I tried not to notice was too obvious to ignore. If he ever kept a doctor’s appointment, there is some advice he has not heeded to that he desperately needs to consider for life and wellbeing.

A lady who tried to draw their attention was ignored, she had mistaken one bottle for another, and as she was already at the till, I exchanged the drinks, taking the fermented from her for the unfermented that she required.

The things we eat

The Jafro Foods coconut-flavoured chin-chin was back on the shelves and even in a bigger container, I fetched 2 off the shelf, some moin-moin in leaves, and I even ventured frozen fish for which the French lady behind me offered a good recipe tip. A mother of 4 boys with appetites insatiable, I was not going to pretend I wanted to know what her monthly shopping bill was.

Meanwhile, someone had bought snails for a princely sum that he decided he could not afford and brought them back for a refund. I could not be bothered telling him off for jumping the queue, I obliged him and felt the better for it. Checked through my stuff and took another route back home exploring parts of Salford and Manchester I might have been before but never considered could be reached down those ways.

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