house of happy

Life adventures in prose and verse. Explorations of places, people and words. Stories and fun.

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Fruit and Veg

I buy fruit and veg from a new shop today. Two shops, it turns out: we start with the fruit, on the right. The owner opens his arms wide and welcomes us. Big smile under the Afghan hat.

We don't really need fruit. Perhaps apples. Immediately distracted by something I used to grow in Portugal - beautiful sunny fruit, each growing inside its own leafy glove... what was the name? We're given one to taste and the name bursts into my head: PHYSSALIS! I shout triumphantly.

'Yes, yes', the owner agrees with great enthusiasm, 'GOOSEBERRIES'!


Apples and gooseberries in bag, we proceed next door. We need tomatoes.

Different management, clearly. Two guys wearing skullcaps and long beards, clouded eyes, beyond unfriendly. Disdainful and hostile. One forces himself to answer a question, spits out the price of tomatoes. WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE? Perhaps I should turn around and leave, but I want tomatoes.

This happens all the time, actually. Lots of friendly people, some good chats, laughs and wonder everywhere, and then these guys with the Attitude; the ones with the narrow foreheads and the scowls, who make you want to get your tomatoes and fly to Thailand for detox.

Tomatoes procured, we're making one more stop, at a gift shop. 'Can you hold the bags for a minute?' I ask Kira. She grabs the bags, I let go. The fruit bag stays in her hand, the tomatoes crash and squash.


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