Shopping on opposite sides of the world, a comparison

Waitrose was better than expected.
Waitrose was better than expected.

Shopping in Eastbourne 7th April

I did get to Waitrose yesterday and it was better than expected. Got there about 10:30 with very little traffic on the way. There was plenty of space in the car park, even in the undercover section. People queuing there – under cover, didn’t matter as it was sunny, but worth noting if wet or windy. Everyone was well-spaced out and orderly, and it only took about 15 minutes to get into the store.

No direction arrows or floor markings except at checkouts. But most people kept good separation. Also most there came alone, with a few couples but no children at all. One or two seemed to think the best way not to catch anything from other people was to run with their trolleys past them. One masked lady in particular seemed to be training for 100 metre sprints. Just had to pause a few times for the area in front of me to clear before entering it.

Much better stock than when I was last there two weeks ago, plenty of fresh fruit, veg and meat. I picked up chicken and beef mince. Even the fresh meat counter was open, but all stewing meat diced very small, no uncut. (I like to brown my stewing meat whole and then cut it for stewing – can get a better ‘Maillard reaction’ that way). Alas no frozen veg at all – normally don’t use it, but thought it would save me shopping again sooner – seems others had already thought the same.

Most, not all, people kept good separation.

Got most on my list – no Worcester sauce, very little unsalted butter, milk a bit short dated, couldn’t get my regular breakfast cereal but found adequate alternative and still no hand sanitiser or hand wash or even bars of soap – although I found searching for these difficult as I forgot to change to my reading glasses before going in and didn’t want to put my hands to my face to do so after entering. I did see a lady exiting with what looked like a stack of loo rolls on top of her trolley (but they could have been kitchen towels) – I didn’t need either (one advantage of having a colostomy last year, less need for loo rolls – sorry too much information there).

No queue at all at checkout, for your store card they’ve put a sensor on the end part of the counter so you don’t pass it to the assistant any more. Paid by card, too much for contactless, down to car park solely in the lift. Bigger queue waiting to go in now. All done in under an hour. Had put my only bottle of hand sanitiser in the boot of the car so used that before getting in and driving home.

Overall a very satisfactory trip, much better than I had expected and much better than two weeks ago.

Points worth noting for future reference – make sure to have the right glasses on before leaving car – and keep the hand sanitiser handy for return there.

Shopping in Pattaya Thursday 9th April

We went to Friendship Supermarket (a small Chinese style supermarket) on Thursday 9th April as usual. Arrived around 11am and there was plenty of parking, assisted by man with whistle. Climbed the 5 steps to the entrance and was greeted by a young man who took my temperature and a young lady sprayed my hands with sanitiser.

Friendship Supermarket is small Chinese style supermarket on South Pattaya Road.
Friendship Supermarket is small Chinese style supermarket on South Pattaya Road.

Took a freshly cleaned trolley and started on my list. Sliced loaf (avoiding the cream cakes), fresh vegetables, fruit and salads. Couple of packets of instant mash and some olives. (Note: Also pack of 7 quail eggs, hard boiled and pealed. We like them with a dusting of celery salt with our evening drink.) Plenty of social distancing, except for two Falang men, both with trolleys, chatting on the corner of the isles! Butchers kept busy and well stocked.

Plenty of eggs and milk on the shelves. No shortage of loo rolls. We don’t have much frozen foods here, mostly for catering trade, but the freezers were well stocked. No problem with the alcohol section, then, but now banned. Fortunately we anticipated this and stocked up.

Everyone was wearing masks (gosh – they are hot) (they look like kinky underwear on the washing line!).

At the check-out, young man took our bags, packed all the shopping back into the trolley and took it to down the ramp to the car for us. A very nice shopping experience as usual.


We have to wear a mask when out, even in the car and have hand sanitiser in the car too and carry passport & driving license.

Only 4 people allowed in our condo lifts (usually 10) and masks must be worn. Sanitiser outside lifts on every floor. Temperature taken at front door.

Curfew now in place from 10pm – 4am.  All beaches closed. Roads very quiet.

Alcohol now banned, but petrol down in price. Pattaya roads now closed from Sukhumvit to beach. Plenty of delivery of take away food – Grab and Food Panda doing very well.

Laundry Express 3rd Road now doing collection & delivery – good for them.

We are now running out of water, lakes empty.

Keep calm and carry on!

The Chinese style spirit house out front of the supermarket.
The Chinese style spirit house out front of the supermarket.