At home, trolleys naturally came along for the ride with me while I roamed the aisles of Woolworths.
Four cans of corn here, a 12-pack roll of toilet paper there.
The shopping bill rarely came in under $70, and it took me between two and three walks from the car to the kitchen to get it all in the house.
In London, only the big supermarkets have trolleys, and even then I steer clear of them.
Because you have to carry it all home.
There’s no car to accidently squish your bread under the tins of dog food.
You have to load up, channel Arnold Schwarzenegger and march home with as many groceries you can humanely carry.
This is really the story of London Life.
I made a rookie error early on, when I decided to click and collect my new doona, pillows, sheets and towels from Covent Gardens Argos branch.
Small note for the Aussies here: Argos is like Big W, Kmart and Target packaged together in a shop that can only be accessed online. You then arrange to have your goods delivered or picked up. Covent Gardens is located in the heart of London. Need I say more.
I recruited Alysha, fresh off the plane from Australia, to help carry my new personal belongings home. My main concern at that stage was that I wouldn’t have enough arms to carry it all home. It was when I stood on the Covent Garden tube platform at 6pm that I realised some of my possessions may turn out to be casualties of peak hour travel.
Alysha, armed with the pillows, and me armed with the doona pushed our way onto the train like sumos. The cushioning turned out to be a nice buffer between us and the other commuters for the first few stops. We giggled as our soft padding pushed into the backs of people as the train lurched to the stations. But the giggles turned to nervous panic, as the people started to disembark at one particular station, and the pillows in Alysha’s hands followed. The whirlpool of people were too powerful for her grip on the plastic protection and at one stage, the little bundle of cloud was a step away from minding the gap.
It couldn’t get away from us that easily. A friendly chap in the corner watching the whole scene play out snatched it up before the doors closed and back into our safe hands.
We all made it home in one piece.
One funny story to add to the list, one lesson learnt and one lucky pillow.