Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland until I return to the Murcia region of Spain
in the Autumn for a month or so

'Fair and softly goes far' - Miguel de Cervantes

Saturday, 16 August 2008

Mercadona on a Saturday morning in August

Most of my visits to the Costa Cálida in the past have been in the winter with shorter visits in the Spring and the Autumn; I haven't been here before in mid-summer (I spent many years living in the Middle and Far East so know all about summer heat, thank you very much), but because I was going to be in the Netherlands in early August for family reasons, which I mentioned here a few days ago, I thought it a good idea to come on to my house in Spain, rather than return home to Scotland where, it so happens the Nairn Highland Games are taking place today (immediately outside my apartment - some photographs from earlier years' events here and here).

Of course I visited Mercadona at Puerto de Mazarrón the day after I arrived to stock up on various fresh foodstuffs - it was pretty busy on Tuesday, but that was as nothing compared to today! It was HEAVING with people and, amazingly, most of the shopping trolley stores were empty; luckily I managed to get one a few seconds after it had been returned by an exiting customer. Once I got into the supermarket I was greeted by a truly amazing scene. All the spare check-outs at the main exit, which aren't normally used, had been moved into position and all were manned (or 'womanned' - did I just invent that word?) and within the store itself it was a slow-moving mass of humanity. The main difference, I think, from when I normally visit the area is that there are a lot of Spanish on holiday in the area, mostly younger families with children, also I heard a lot of French being spoken, again mainly younger families with children. Apart from the general congestion caused, this was rather a pleasant change from the rather older age-profile of most customers at other times of the year (at least partly because of the prepoderance of northern European 'winter swallows' such as myself).

I'm just glad there wasn't some kind of emergency whilst I was there (such as a fire, etc), because I think a lot of people could have been crushed in the panic to get out that would surely have followed. I shall certainly avoid going there again on other Saturdays whilst I'm here this time, even if today's congestion may have been heightened by the public holiday yesterday.

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