So, I’m standing at the check- out counter at Osher Ad Supermarket in bustling Petach Tikva. Osher Ad means completely satisfied. To tell you the truth, it looks pretty well stacked here, the people and the aisles. Israelis are getting chubby and so am I. There are some folks ahead of me, all with exploding wagons and I have plenty of time till I reach the cashier. I ask the honey eyed woman in the next aisle if she has a piece of paper. She gives me a curious look and gives me a ripped envelope. I begin to write this blog.
There are twenty three registers in this store. The store is big and the lines are big. They are all ringing up. Ding Ding Ding! And no-one is bagging. It’s that kind of a store. I like to pack my own stuff anyway. Sure, it’s three whole days till Purim and everyone must have thought, like me- how smart to shop on a Monday morning at 11:00 o’clock! This is not just a supermarket but a super-Bazaar, especially today. Klezmer music is happily playing in the background and aside from the interesting items for sale like fold up chairs and all kinds of light bulbs and flashlights, gadgets for the kitchen and even some garden supplies, the place is a Purim market all made up with pretty Purim baskets, hamantaschen, gift boxes done up in cellophane, grogers, costumes and masks. I feel like a kid in a candy store as I can’t ignore the chocolates, jawbreakers, gumdrops, jellybeans (oh so colorful!) the mini-sugarcoated marzipan challahs, and most attractive- the hot cinnamon balls, red and hard but juicy sweet and hot inside after you’ve sucked on one enough. There are shelves and shelves of little cherry and banana liquor bottles, grape juice and miniature wine and vodka bottles. We are not in the wine section or even near the brewery. I walk fast past the granola,wafers/cookies/breakfast bars/crackers aisle straight to the meat section remembering we are making a barbeque this Purim. ( I’ll be happy to get back to nature )I remember to get charcoal and lighting fluid. A strong aroma of fresh ground coffee hits me as I pass a man holding a tray of little trial sized cups of the Turkish brew. “For your pleasure!” he smiles. Just what I need in this madness. Nam Nam. It tastes tobaccoy and a little earthy. Delicious. I throw a few bags of it in my wagon and remember I need to run to the health Food section for sesame seeds, pine nuts and walnuts. My recipe for cabbage salad- sautee these in olive oil, after shutting off the flame, pour soy sauce into it with a little ginger powder and black pepper a pinch of salt and some sugar –add to fresh green strips of cabbage.
People are so engrossed in the stock all around under the daze of the fluorescent lights that if an alarm would go off they would be reaching deeper into the shelf to check another thing off their list! Oblivious-A scruffy looking Arab man walks through the throngs of people asking if they want to buy a set of screwdrivers. WTH! He seems un -noticed. I’ve been packing some soya puddings (my granddaughter likes the ones that taste like cookies) into my, oops- someone else’s wagon. Good luck- go and find mine in this maze now. Finally I see it- the one with the giant sized granola bars box sitting where a little kid could, next to the charcoal. Phew. Ok- now I am daydreaming that all of this will be consumed/gone/eaten/devoured/gobbled up. The shelves so busting will be cleaned spic and span washed down and then made ready for Pesach. OMG! In only a few weeks!