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September 30, 2006

First day at work and the shopping jitters

Tuesday was my first day at work, which after 10 months of only working remotely was a little bit like my first ever day at school. I thought that was fine at the time when I was 5, I just didn't realise I was going to have to do it again the next day.

After work - which sounds weird as a phrase coming from my mouth - I strolled around the corner to the supermarket. If only the optimum diet consisted of several helpings of ham and cheese and rolls a day I'd be the healthiest man alive.

Austria and this region of Europe are reknowned for their mind-bending lager, but I've actually adopted a rather conservative tipple - "Zipfer Urtyp Medium". The thing is, with no friends yet and Claire back in Greece, there isn't much else to do in the evening except play PlayStation, work on the laptop, and drink beer. So I've picked a rather feeble low alcohol beer for my nightly quota.

I'd forgotten already, after the early tribulations in Greece, how difficult a supermarket in a foreign land can be. The one near work is huge and well stocked, but I clearly haven't got the hang of the local supermarket culture.

On my first visit I just had to clutch all my goods to my chest, as I could find neither baskets nor trollies. On my second visit I still couldn't find baskets, but at least I identified the outside trolly park. I had to wait until someone else came along and used one to work out how to unfasten them though.

Then, in the supermarket I made some kind of open-bag faux-pas in the check-out queue, and had to have my bag searched by the woman on the cash-desk. I then tried to buy the most expensive bananas in Christendom, until the cash-desk woman helpfully pointed out I had self-service printed out a label for platinum-coated caviar or something, rather than bananas.

The cloud cover was very low today, so compared to the open blue skies of Crete with the surrounding mountains there was quite a claustrophobic feel to the area. It still all looked very beautiful though.

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