Things I miss and things I still don’t understand

7 Jan

Just ruminating today on some things I still don’t understand here in Guadeloupe. There are some services that don’t exist here (and also some that do, but let’s focus on the missing) where I believe they certainly should. I miss these things from home. Let’s examine them:

That person who runs to the checkout line to get the code/price for the item you are trying to buy which doesn’t have the price tag on it.

Yeah, I’ve mentioned it before. They don’t care here. Don’t have a code on the cheese you took half an hour to find? That’s your problem, and you need to fix it. While everyone stares at you from the line behind you making disappointed noises. Two thumbs down. I LOVE that person.  I miss that person. I think Guadeloupe needs to create jobs and this should be one of them, pronto.

The scale for the fruits and veggies at the checkout stand.

It’s DIY here. Battle the grey-haired pushers and get to the scale with your fruits and veggies, weigh them, stick the price sticker on them. Do not mistake one type of fruit for another, because if you are paying more, they’ll never tell you. If you are paying less, they might just ring that item up twice. I would really prefer that the store and the people who work there bear the burden of marking the items with the correct prices. Isn’t that why they work there and I’m the customer?

The bagger.

Nobody will ever put things into bags for you in the grocery stores in Guadeloupe. In other types of stores they might. It could go either way. At the clothing stores I find they do, and in the sporting goods store I find they ever so slowly place your items in a pile without even looking at where they’re placing them. They then pass you a plastic bag without looking at you. Bag it yourself, muchacho. I do miss someone putting things in bags for me. You know why? Because it’s nice. It’s helpful. And it kind of goes with the whole checkout thing ala “Thank you for spending money here, I’ll now burn minimal calories to place these things into a bag so that you can swiftly exit and I can help the person waiting behind you, have a nice day”. Why not?

The waitstaff hello.

While food may not be, food service is lost on Guadeloupe. Il n’existe pas. Waitstaff approach the table and say, “Oui?”  That’s it. Now, I will say while that the overall service in restaurants stateside is far superior, sometimes it is a bit over the top. I really thought the girl at Starbucks was going to propose to me before I even told her what I wanted. Five minutes of high pitched fast talking super bubbly greetings and offerings and suggestions later I had forgotten what I wanted. I was mesmerized or confused, not sure which. Overkill. But a nice hello good morning how may I help you would be nice. I do miss that. But you know, it’s hot here. Extra talking is just too sweaty a task.

Things being open on Sunday.

There are a few things. It’s not entirely lost. But it is extremely limited. I miss that option. I think for a lot of people, the weekend is the only time you can actually get out to do your shopping. So what, you have Saturday? So little choice. I miss that. It’s convenient.I mean, THE MALL is closed on Sunday. What the….?!

My girlfriends from home.

No matter how long you live Someplace Else, girlfriends who know you well, who understand your jokes, and whom you can understand entirely…they’re missed. New friends can become great friends, but I don’t know…there’s just something about friends from home.

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2 Responses to “Things I miss and things I still don’t understand”

  1. Allen January 13, 2012 at 09:20 #

    Bless! Missing friends from home….

    The problem with being from the UK and living in France – particularly this part of France – is that it isn’t far away enough from home!

    I have some friends here who are downsizing from four beds to two. Reason? Last year they had over twenty friends ‘come to stay’. It has, apparently, been on the increase year after year, last year reaching record proporations for them.

    ‘That’s nice’, I said.
    ‘Oh, yeah?’ Responded Tony. ‘Trouble is they don’t put their hands in their pockets!’

    (Do you know that expression? Meaning they don’t contribute to costs?)

    I’ve noticed this too. You pick them up from the airport, ferry them around, put them up for a fortnight, feed ’em, and then ferry them back to the airport again – largely putting your life on hold for the duration, and your recompense (if you’re lucky!) is being taken out for a pizza (not with an egg on!)

    I don’t expect – with the distances involved – you have that problem?

    • Girl in Guadeloupe January 14, 2012 at 09:39 #

      Oh, I wish we had more of that problem in fact. Thing is, it’s difficult for people to come here. The combination of the sad amount of American vacation time and the cost of getting here – even with a free place to say at our house – is just a lot for a lot of people. The few folks who have made it were of the utmost class in reaching into their pockets, so much so that I had to remind them that the point of having a free place to stay is to actually spend less on vacation! I have heard horror stories though! Some even involving parents! HA!

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