Holiday Shopping

I forgot that it’s New Year this week and that it’s a huge holiday in Japan.  Attempting to grocery shop today quickly reminded me of my folly.  It’s nasty out there.  There are extra staff at the shopping centre to deal with the cars, the grocery store has brought in extra tables to give more room for packing groceries, and the queues for the tills stretch right down the store.  It’s horribly like shopping for food in Northern Ireland before Christmas.  But here I don’t have a car and the stores don’t open in the middle of the night so I can’t sneak out and do my shopping when people are sleeping.

I was not ready for any of this when I wandered out of my apartment building.  I grocery shop nearly every day and my grocery shopping is limited by what I can carry.  Today I planned to buy food for one meal. It’s midweek so I expected to do this in about 15 minutes.  And then I saw the crowds, the New Year decorations and signs, and I realised that the shops would probably close over the holiday and that I needed to buy food for multiple days.

I was not dressed for crowds.  I have a cold, like so many people do at this time of year, and I was feeling dazed and sluggish when I got dressed this morning.  I put on old clothes and was too lazy to change my trousers when I realised they were too big, as I was going to run quickly to the store.  I stuck on my biggest coat, to cover up my awful clothes, and shuffled out.  As soon as I stepped into the sunlight I started to sneeze, my nose started to drip, and the weight of my coat was causing my trousers to slid uncomfortably down.  I ended up in the bathroom at the store trying to fix these problems while staring at my pasty white face.  I looked awful and this was before I had braved the store.

I managed to buy food for two days and instead of writing this blog post I need to make myself go back to the store.  I know that it will be open again tomorrow but the crowds aren’t going to get any smaller, if anything it will get worse as more people get off work for the holiday.