Hello again for another day!

You know, it is not always the big things that happen in our lives that makes life interesting. Sometimes, it is the small things.

You see, this morning I made a visit to buy a few things at our local shopping centre rather than visit a large shopping complex and I am glad I did.

I have taken to doing this of late, as the atmosphere at the local shops is so relaxed. You can park within a short amble of the shops without having to dress up too much! Now, this appeals when you are in a hurry and want to grab some things and run.

But today, I had occasion to linger in my car in the car park as I was listening intently to an interview on the radio and the interview wasn’t finished. So as I sat there listening, I took more notice of what was happening around me: people coming and going, the type of shops that were there, just getting a general feeling of the place.

The names of the shops told me what was within: The Friendly Grocer (Chinese mini-mart and cheap import items like plastic-ware, knives etc;  The Fruit Market (great produce and specialty items); Eternal Beauty (you wish) ; Basket Cases (great for gifts); Christopher’s Cafe (home-made apple pie to die for)  and numerous other shops like a Bakery, Bottle Shop etc all lined up in a row. Nice, quiet and friendly.

I was overdressed. I noticed that rubber thongs were the preferred footwear by women (flip-flops to those in the US) and there were a lot of ‘tradies’ (trades people) too, picking up small items  from the hardware or going in to the Take-Away for a hamburger or a heap of hot chips. I thought to myself “this could be a fascinating place to come and sit and observe people.”

As I sat there, a foreign looking woman with long jet-black hair, lots of jewellery and even more make-up, passed in front of my car. I thought to myself: “I bet that woman belongs to the Crystal Shop. She looks like someone who would belong in one of those alternative places”. Sure enough, she went in, kissed the woman serving and went out the back.

At this juncture, it was time to get  out of the car and I went to have a good look at the Crystal Shop – all dark and dreary as if  Druids would appear at any moment, and of course, crystals hanging inside. I have always rushed past this shop as it is spooky and strange-looking and I am not keen to linger to find out more. It seems out-of-place here.

But … today I looked in the window! There on the glass was a sign advertising “Chindara” the medium (who was the person I had seen and anyway, why do they always have these Indian-type names?)  I read:

“Chindara is heralding Shuvani (Romani Wise Woman) with an Italian/Spanish lineage … Chindara  facilitates open communication between her “Seekers” and their Spirit Guides through channelling and mediumship.”

Oh wow! This fascinated and spooked me all at once and I decided to record it in my notebook. As I was writing, the woman came out (probably to check on what I was doing?) and said “hello” – very nice and very friendly. At this point, I reacted as someone who has been caught out and pretended as if I was just looking! Oh dear it was not good. I quickly left. (I have changed her name and some details for her privacy because I feel so bad!)

I wondered if I hadn’t overstepped the mark as I went to The Fruit Market. But, the thought persisted about how interesting our small local shops can be. Where else would I have someone say’ hello’ who channels Shuvani or have a conversation with the man who actually BUYS the produce from the market? Certainly an interesting combination of people!

I was looking at some of the best dark cherries I have ever seen outside of Tasmania (try them when you visit this state, they grow THE BEST cherries) when he spoke to me and said “Love, (only Greek fruiterers and butchers would call you ‘Love’)  that’s the last of the cherries for this season.” Oh, the joy of someone simply volunteering information that one would never get in a big supermarket. It was then I asked him where they were from: “Tasmania.”  Of course!

And it was here that I bought two lovely ripe figs three weeks ago and I am sure, it is the continued presence of these figs that leads me like a cow with a ring in its nose, right into the bosom of the Greek fruiterer. The ones I saw shortly after in the supermarket were a disgrace. Cheaper yes, but awful…awful…awful! I must confess I bought one again today and ate it there and then (too expensive to buy more!)

Yes, it really is an adventure going to these local shops. Where else would you see a sign on the local school fence nearby that was displayed in large, uneven writing: “Creek Tigers Squirts“. “What the?” was my immediate thought when I saw this last week. What does THAT mean? It occupied my thoughts for days.

Today I took the trouble to look again and noticed in small letters underneath:”Sign on Day“. Oh, I see! So that would be some kind of football club perhaps? The suburb is “Slacks Creek”, the Tigers are a local football club, and the “Squirts” would have to be that wonderful Australian colloquialism word that the Macquarie Dictionary lists as: “short, insignificant person.” Yes, a child!

In closing, let me help your education further, by leaving you with a word I saw in an article in the Sunday papers. The article was about a Brisbane woman who simply loved building LEGO from the time she was small. She continued her interest as an adult and belonged to a group who builds LEGO. Finally, she ended up with a job in Denmark at the LEGO factory. She sent LEGO her resume and ended up working her way up to being a designer. She said to the interviewer:

“I thought, ppffit, what do I have to lose?”

Now, I have heard people say this word “ppffit”but I have never seen it in print. You may wish to use it, but if you write it, this surely is how it is written. Who knows? It’s a great word (or a sound perhaps?)

So, ppffit, what do you have to lose: go visit your local shops and have a great friendly experience!

Until tomorrow …

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