Sunday, February 8, 2009

the figure I cut . . .

This is nothing to do with the Berlin film festival!

My dear sister reminded me that long ago I said I was going to blog about the figure I cut when I went to the grocery store. (I had a long list of things I wanted to post about; still do but it's a different list now and I think I've become wiser by thinking maybe I shouldn't post the list this time . . . )

And she wondered the other day about that. And whether it had changed.

Well, it has, and that's why I didn't blog about it, but here, in the nutshelliest nut I can try to put it in, is the figure I used to cut:

little wallet-purse with thin long black strap over shoulder
enormous backpack with multiple canvas bags (on the way there; on the way back all the canvas bags are bulging and hanging off my hands and wrists and arms; the backpack is bulging too)
big black weight vest
multiple scarves hanging off me for decoration
some kind of funny half-length pants that I think are cute but people here don't really wear I guess
balancing on my big clunky round-soled Masai Barefoot Technology sandals
and to finish it off, trying somehow to manage reading The New Yorker as I take my walk to or from the store

How/why has it changed?

Well, I've stopped wearing the weight vest because my knee was hurting. So that's a big one.
An even bigger one is that I got myself a wheeled cart (I guess a cart has to be wheeled?) to buy the groceries with. It's red (some of them, the cheaper ones, were SOOO ugly - I paid 60 euros and there were ones for 120 but there were also ones for 30 or 40 but I decided it was worth a little more for me to like the looks). And I use it 4 to 6 times a week. A little plastic piece on the bottom broke off once when I was pulling it, fully loaded with the usual (see below) plus several crates of clementines up onto the bus, so it doesn't stand perfectly and is a little more likely to tip than it was, but it's a fabulous thing.
Here's what it can hold: 4 to 6 little cartons of milk, 2 to 6 liter bottles of mineral water and juices, 4 to 10 kilos of apples, potatoes, carrots, bananas, mangoes, leeks (I'm buying lots of leeks!), plus all sorts of big and small miscellaneouses like yogurt, large jars of Nutella (soooo much cheaper here), multiple heads of lettuce, eggs (I put them on the bottom so they sit flat and they come home perfectly), 20 at a time (they come in tens here not twelves), toilet paper and kleenexes and well, you know all the things people buy at a supermarket. I can tuck all my little ginger ends and lemons and small things like that down into the spaces.
If I remember to bring my backpack sometimes, if I buy too many large paper products or bread (VERY cheap here, I mean the really good fresh-baked stuff), then there is overflow just spacewise (not weightwise) and I put some of the larger lighter things in the backpack (actually, the backpack can take heavy stuff too - but sometimes I have lighter larger stuff in bags hanging off my hands, arms, and wrists again like old times if I buy just a little too much for the cart).

So those are the main reasons I don't cut such a figure. Also with the cold I'm not reading while I walk, nor cell phoning usually though sometimes I manage. And with the cold I'm wearing extremely boring and predictable clothes, basically black jeans every single day for the last six months it feels like except for yesterday when I wore my red tights and my little jeans skort (but with my long black Berlin-bought down coat over the whole thing I still didn't look very daring).

So that, dear sister, is what I used to look like and why I'm not particularly wild-looking anymore!

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