Today I learned something about different

I went to the SuperSpar today.

It was no cheetah, but it was interesting.

While the rest of the team was tidying the odds and ends of their workshop sessions, I took on the task of lunch and dinner preparation.

SuperSpar, btw, is a brand of grocery store chain here. I didn’t go to Spar or KwikSpar. I went to SuperSpar. South Africa is rife with Spars.

If you’ve never been to a grocery store in a country other than your own, it’s a bit trippy.

It’s clearly a grocery store. You can tell that as you walk in. There are groceries.

Little things, though, are different.

Eggs are left out stacked on pallets on the floor rather than in a refrigerated case.

Milk comes in a foil-lined carton with the label “long life milk” and sits on an aisle’s endcap (also unrefrigerated).

Little things.

Also, you can slice your own bread.

I’m not saying a bread knife sits next to the display and you individually slice each piece. I’m saying you get to operate the little machine with the handle that pushes the loaf through while dozens of little jigsaws do their elfish work.

No adult supervision was required.

I’ll admit a small amount of giddiness.

Here’s the thing – we ate the eggs, I made soup with the milk, no one died. Not even a stomachache.

It seems doing things in a way that’s different and thereby initially seems wrong may not, in fact, be wrong. It may, stay with me here, be different.

Not only that, different didn’t mean better. Different didn’t mean worse. Different meant different and same.

Mind = Blown

Thanks, SuperSpar.

3 thoughts on “Today I learned something about different

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  2. Ah, this post took me back – to Europe in 1989 when the grocery stores THERE blew me away. THIS is why we need our children to go abroad as soon as possible from the insular USA – to experience the world through DIFFERENT lenses. And yet, for all the differences I experienced, it was still the similarities that socked me right in the gut, that still capture my memory. A mother holding her child's hand as the child experiences the beach for the first time, a family laughing together on vacation while taking pictures, an old man mourning at the graveside of a friend long dead from war – those images are universal life. I expected the differences, I remember the similarities.

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