Aaaand! we’re back to a previous theme. Some people had problems with the other one, and I couldn’t find where to log in, so we’re back to the books.
I woke up this morning wondering whatever happened to 7/11. It was today’s date that triggered the thought – and then I realised that in recalling the prevalence of 7/11 shops I was mostly thinking about Spain. (In Madrid there were lots of 7/11 stores – which were known generally as ‘Sevain-eelevain’ and not ‘siete-once’ as I tried to call them.)
Back in Britain, I slept much better thanks to some ear-plugs I managed finally to purchase. It wasn’t easy: the chemist across the road concluded after a long search that they’d sold out, so I went down to Patel’s. They had a hunt for me but said they didn’t have any wax ones, only foam (I don’t like the foam ones). So I was about to go home empty-handed when I saw a box of silicone ones. They were called ‘Quies’ and in spite of that reminding me disturbingly of ‘quietus’, I took them up to the counter where in a separate interaction a woman with a badge and clipboard was interviewing a member of staff. Was the chemist’s being Ofsteded or something? Anyway, I got out my wallet and they scanned the bar-code with the scanner and… nothing.
‘I’m terribly sorry, Madam,’ the woman said.
Madam? No-one in Patel’s has ever called me Madam. She went off in search of a price list and found it, but that yielded nothing.
‘I’m terribly sorry, Madam,’ she said again.
I said not to mention it.
She disappeared again and returned looking very worried.
‘I’m terribly sorry Madam,’ she said for a third time, ‘but I can’t find the price.’
In the end, and with several more ‘I’m terribly sorry Madam’s, she gave me the box for £1, which was probably about 1/3 of the retail price. Was the chemist really being Ofsteded after all?
And so to bed, where (I kid you not) as soon as my head hit the pillow the thump, thump, thump of the neighbour’s stereo started up. it was as if I’d hit the switch with my head when I lay down… so out came the ear-plugs and soon I was pushing out the zzz’s.
Just like I used to in Spain…