I stood staring at shelves full of tins, boxes and packets, squinting my eyes, as if to try and focus. But they were fully focused, that wasn’t the problem.
You know when you go abroad to a foreign supermarket, and it’s fun and exciting, and you laugh at all the different names for things? It’s a novelty, right? But you only need to get things like bread, ham and Lays crisps. Perhaps some cornflakes.
I was in a new supermarket in a new country, and it wasn’t fun, or exciting. My head was spinning, although that might have been the jetlag.
I’d been in New Zealand only a couple of days and I found myself having to do a food shop for myself and a boyfriend who I had no real idea of what type of food he liked. We also had no agreement, routine, or plans for food, so I really had no idea what to buy.
I was also more tired than a tired thing.
I didn’t know any brands. I didn’t recognise anything. Nothing was familiar. Everything was in the wrong place. The milk tops were all the wrong colours. What the fuck do I buy?
It dawned on me that it wasn’t really the food or the packaging. It was the realisation I was now LIVING in a foreign country. That I’d left my familiar, bloody great life behind. That my family and friends weren’t here. The realisation that I was in a relationship with someone I actually knew very little about. The realisation I had to start again. I had to put all that effort in. To meet people, make friends, into the relationship.
It all scared the hell out of me. I felt like running out of the supermarket and curling up in a ball and hiding until it was all over.
I didn’t though.
I took a deep breath and found some teabags. I filled the trolley with a load of random stuff and figured I’d just try winging it and see what happened. And yes, that is a metaphor for my life.