ALDI – the aesthetics of frugality

I like ALDI today. That’s pretty changeable. I can LOATHE the place.

Today I went just after the school run. No crowds. I also now have a trolley token and don’t have to

  1. make unnecessary trip to other shop to get change
  2. curse a lot
  3. curse a lot more and attempt to carry 40kilos of shopping all the way home by hand

I also remembered to store some reuseable bags in the car AND get them out. Although I only took 2 with me because I only had 5 things on the shopping list. Will I never learn?

I’m hoping that when I get old I will learn how to come home from shopping with one small bag holding a half an apple, a twig and punnet of soap.

Now admittedly the trolley was deformed and qualified for disability access only they don’t have any, but damn! I felt good about the whole shopping experience.

So good I added a few boxes of organic tea and muesli… and then.. well when you’re going straight home after shopping you must SEIZE the opportunity to stock up on frozens.

Then the lovely vertical marketing, where one moment it’s just a squishy gel bike seat that you’re craving, then you’ve picked up matching handle bar covers, fingerless gloves, clip on carrypacks, luminescent stripes and a nifty little portable weatherproof bikeshed that can be fitted into a backpack and erected in minutes!

I felt positively European when I emerged. So efficient and well put together. I treated myself to some new chocolate ginger biscuits and felt even more virtuous when I sneered at the Speculaas. I am being healthy, in moderation!

I’ve got to enjoy this virtuosity while I can! It wears off when I run into the damn place at 3.15 or 7pm and they don’t have brown rice for my suddenly fussy family. Or wholemeal pasta. Or any bread left. And I queue for a quarter of an hour, while pushy people jump ahead of me because their life is just plain more important and they open another checkout that everyone behind me runs to, only I’m trapped with all my goods on the incredibly long travelator of despair.

Last woman who pissed me off at ALDI was Irish and slid in front of me saying “You don’t mind, do you?” When I said, “Yes, actually.” she turned her back on me and pretended she didn’t hear.

So, I upped the volume and repeated myself a couple of times till she turned back to me and huffed “You have no idea what’s going on in my life!” All I could say was “What makes you think that everyone else here has nothing going on in their lives? Have you checked?”

I did worry though. The one time I complained about the neighbours parking in our driveway – 10pm carrying 3 sleeping children a rather long way with a bad back. Well, someone had just died. ZING.

However, I cynically wonder if this one’s coasted through life smilingly saying “You don’t mind, do you?” while doing exactly as she pleases and ignoring any unpleasantries. How do you get such a thick skin? I don’t tan, I fry.

Then checkout cock slides my eggs off the end of the incredibly tiny packing space and everyone swears at me for misswiping my credit card which is in the exact opposite direction to Woolworths and Kmart and everywhere else. I have checked!

ALDI. Love it or loathe it.


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