Monday, May 14, 2007

Shopping ... and thinking of the troops

OK, so living here is actually a lot of fun. There's never an opportunity to say, "There's nothing to do."

The one major inconvenience: grocery shopping. In a previous blog, we may have mentioned that Union City is a lot of things, but a shopping mecca it is not. The closest grocery store is actually in Hoboken, which is about a 35-minute walk each way. Walking back is challenging, as we have a rolling cart filled with groceries and it's uphill almost the entire way.

Mary doesn't mind doing the shlep on a Saturday morning if she's ready for a good workout. But it's not the most interesting way to spend her time!

So we are trying new shopping strategies, like going to the supermarket after work and before we get on the bus. That, too, has its drawbacks: a) we get home closer to 7 pm than 6 pm; b) we have to carry the groceries on the bus, which is OK unless there are no seats and we have to stand for the 20-minute ride around some pretty serious curves in the road; c) we have to think ahead and bring our cart with us in the morning, which one of us has to then take to the office (not a huge deal, but it takes some forethought); d) sometimes we are so hungry after work, we end up buying more food than we need.

We still haven't perfected grocery shopping here. For those of you living in our old hometown, picture having to carry your groceries through the streets of NYC, up and down several flights of stairs, on the crowded subway (sometimes VERY crowded!), through long--sometimes VERY long--corridors in the bus station, then in line for the bus, then on the bus (sitting if you're lucky, standing if you're not), and then walking home from the bus stop.

Get the picture?

If and when we ever solve this dilemma, we'll let you know our system.

You may think, "This is no big deal, this shopping thing. There's a war going on in Iraq, for Pete's sake," you are absolutely right. For a moment on the bus this evening, it felt like the driver had turned on the heat instead of the air conditioning (it was warm here today), and Mary thought about how uncomfortable our soldiers must be in Iraq.

Suddenly, our lives seemed pretty damned good. Now, we just have to make that so for the troops.

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