I spoke to a friend in Pick and Pay this morning while our toddlers clung to us between mountains of fruit and vegetables. Hip accessories. She may need to go to Japan for work; a whole week, she says. I understand her hesitation. “Away” feels impossible… “far away” near unfathomable. Our worlds are here. Our worlds have become smaller.
Saturday morning shopping has become an event – an adventure in consumption. Aisles become a magical maze, the trolley an imaginary “baba-trein. Squeals and cookie crumbs trail behind us. We forget about the real world.
Dara always makes the staff smile. She bounces up and down on her chunky legs; then “shops” for sweeties at the till point display. Beaming, she hands her selection to us, but promptly starts to whine when we take it from her (without a thought) to add it to our mountain being scanned into a waiting trolley on the other side.
We drink coffee afterwards. We survived the shopping. The coffee shop has a favourite spot – from the set of FRIENDS perhaps. The couch and coffee table offers a safe and soft corner which we happily occupy; our trolleys parked in a lager around us. Maia and Dara loves the carpet, but I doubt the feeling is mutual … it looks like an expensive Persian. An older man, with only a newspaper for company, glances over his shoulder but, thankfully, smiles at Maia who has been staring a little too long in his direction.
We talk about the Inauguration and Trump – and I feel worried. Our world has become smaller in more ways, the fears are more real, since last night. We are the fortunate, we are the 1%. Shopping and spending, flying and working – drinking coffee on imported middle-eastern carpets with our little worlds playing at our feet … I hope to show them the real world too. I hope it will be bigger and more beautiful than they can ever imagine.