Thursday, 5 November 2009

Prompt #4: Blogging the Mundane...

I'm loving Shimelle's class! Today's prompt is all about blogging mundane things. Things that we think are 'boring' that might actually be interesting to other people. So, life is not always a rollercoaster of highs and lows, sometimes its just nice and flat and uninteresting... so what? Perhaps nice, flat and uninteresting is good - because a rollercoaster life can make you sick! Shimelle was talking about blogging about things like

  • going to the library
  • doing the shopping
  • the school run
  • filling up at the petrol station ....
....oooh now there's one that would do me! I nipped there this morning to get some milk after I had dropped herself off at nursery. I filled up with petrol too at the same time... and then came home to find Shimelle's prompt sat in my inbox. It did get me thinking! I remember when I was a kid I used to sit in the car with my parents while the petrol was being filled up! Yup, my Mum and Dad sat in the car too! See I grew up in South Africa where illiteracy is high and lots of people don't have jobs. There is no dole, no benefits or handouts - so if you don't work, you don't eat. Consequently, there are a lot of things that people are 'employed' to do, that here in the UK we do for ourselves... and one of them is filling up at the petrol station. You drive onto the forecourt, open your window and hand a guy the keys. You tell him what type of fuel your car takes and then wait for him to fill up. I remember as a child thinking how it all sounded like a foreign language as my Mom would hand him the keys saying "fill up, 98, oil and tyres" Suddenly there would be three guys rushing around. One would be filling up, one would be checking the oil and another would be checking the tyres. A fourth man would approach the window and ask if she would like the windscreen cleaned. The petrol attendant would then tell my Mom how much it cost and she would give him the cash (before the days of credit cards!) he would take it to the kiosk and bring her the receipt and the change. She would then have to tip him and they would divide it between them. That is how they lived... on tips. I only found out years later that the garage didn't pay them a salary, they did all that in the hope of a tip... and quite a few people didn't give them even that much! The only time my parents would actually set foot anywhere near the kiosk was when us kids nagged them into getting us some crisps or a drink. Quite unlike living here in the UK... where we now have to get out the car (shock, horror!) and do it ourselves. So I filled up the car; watching the numbers whizz by until it clicks. Then I do this "thing", I rock the car - to get the air out of the petrol tank - and then continue to fill it up until it clicks again. Does anyone else do this? I'm not sure where I picked it up from? I think I must be the only person who does this. LOL. I collect my wallet from the car and then head into the shop. Of course it is a *shop* now - not just a little kiosk- petrol stations have now become mini-supermarkets. Our local one has a Marks & Spencers shop, so I often get stuff for tea from there too. I wander around the shop; even though I know I really only need milk -  and pick up a quiche, milk, bread, a snack selection, ham, cheese and sushi. Mmmmmm, yup Sushi. Its a M&S and their sushi is gorgeous. I'm addicted to it! I can happily walk right past the chocolates and crisps as long as I can get my hands on some sushi! I take my stuff to the till and pay.... £60 later I walk out of the shop with a full tank of petrol, the milk I originally wanted and nearly £20's worth of stuff that I had never intended to buy! And sushi. Yum!

I think that the old South African system was probably better, the temptation to buy additional stuff was easier to resist when it was someone else who was handling the money and doing all the work!

(Photo source)

1 comment:

  1. On 5 November 2009 Sian said:
    That was a fascinating post! Thank you for your lovely comment on my blog..not least because it made me realise I had set it to post on the wrong date! It's supposed to appear on Sat. And yes, that is my dad! Thanks again,its much appreciated.


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