A noob’s trip to the grocery store aka Call of Duty: Modern Warfare

Vintage Typewriter
Also an inexperienced typist, it seems.

Warning: This post has generously indulged in the use of hyperbole for dramatic effect. Read at your own risk. And pliss don’t take too seriously. 

Let me just start by saying that I know next to nothing about Call of Duty. Except that it exists and is presumably about advancing through unfamiliar territory while attempting to stay alive. So basically, indistinguishable, for someone like me, from a trip to Imtiaz store.

To be honest, I don’t usually venture into grocery shopping territory by myself. Having a husband who’s experienced in the art of virtual warfare (by virtue of being an avid video gamer), I prefer to put his skills to good use. Armed with our imaginary ammunition we make our way through the aisles, a two-person military unit, one navigating the shopping trolley with precision, the other providing cover while re-fuelling aka filling ‘er up with stuff.

On a certain fateful day, feeling braver than usual, and in the spirit of independence, I made the decision to go it alone. Much was learned within those few hours:

1. Aunties will not spare your lack of knowledge

If you don’t know your shit, prepare to become fodder for their amusement. Upon informing the guy at the meat counter that I was unsure whether the beef bone I was buying (for my mother, might I add) needed to be cut or not, I witnessed the aunty next to me burst out into peals of laughter. Attempting to hide my embarrassment, I considered delving into a long-drawn explanation about how this was my first time purchasing anything cow-related. But I decided against it.

Lesson: Do not let the enemy discover your weakness. Google that shit or make a call to mommy. But do not let them find the chink in your armour.

2. You snooze, you lose

Getting a good spot in the checkout line requires a tactical approach. Leaving your kid in line with the trolley while you complete the rest of your shopping might seem like a good enough idea. Until the kid wanders off, distracted by chocolate (who can blame him really?) and the woman behind you pushes in front.

Lesson: Good ideas can backfire if not properly executed.

3. Get yo’ head in the game

Buying groceries worth PKR 100,000 and then trying to pay with a card that doesn’t have enough of a credit limit? Don’t do it, man (is what I wish I could’ve said to the uncle in front of me).

Lesson: Be prepared for every eventuality or suffer the consequences (dirty looks and loud sighs, in this particular case).

4. Save the receipt

When you reach home after a 3-hour trip to discover that half of your stuff hasn’t arrived with you, don’t freak out. Cause at least you can go back and show your receipt and they’ll know you paid for it. Unless you didn’t think the receipt was important enough and left it behind in the trolley. In that case, prepare for some heated arguments and a pop quiz entitled “what was in the bags”. They’ll only give you your stuff if you pass.

Lesson: Even when you think it’s over, it’s not over.

The lessons don’t end here, but this post must in order to preserve my remaining sanity *insert upside down smiling emoji*. More for another time. Toodle-oo.

11 thoughts on “Diary Entry #25362: The Woes of an Inexperienced Desi Shopper”

  1. I remember shopping at Imtiaz in Karachi and it is exactly as you describe it ! Laughed so much recalling everything as I read on. I remember once when I was 15, I was in Imtiaz with my mom (we divided and conquered when we went – she took care of the boring stuff like meat and soap and I went in search of the fun stuff like the Maggie and cookies) and I was in the tea section because tea is life obviously and this guy asked me where the toothpaste was kept and I told him and smiled just to be polite . Ten minutes later I saw the man again and he was behind me in my aisle which wasn’t weird so I kept shopping and then after another 10 minutes he had followed me into the next aisle. I’m one of those people who don’t think I’m the prettiest girl in the store but when after a further 10 mins he had come up behind me in the next aisle I finally became suspicious and knew he was following me. Now began a cat and mouse game of me maneuvering the trolley like a maniac in the crowded aisles of the tiny Awami Markaz Imtiaz and him managing to catch up. Finally, I took refuge in the ladies section where they sold straighteners and beauty products back then. When after a few minutes I emerged from my safe haven who do I find standing over my trolley? THE RANDO! And he said chucked a folded up piece of paper at me, all the while leering and said in a would be sexy voice “Call me, babe.” Needless to say I didn’t call him and was careful not to smile at strangers in Imtiaz Superstore again.

    1. Hiii! Yay, I’m so glad you found the post amusing and feel the same way (let’s be virtual rant buddies :D). And I LOVE how you’ve described your experience. Had me chuckling to myself like a weirdo. But omg, I thought my experience was bad. Yours takes the cake though! What a creep :O

      1. I actually love your blog since I found it and now I always open up the new posts you share!! Keep it up! You have a quirky style which is so refreshing and this blog manages to keep me in touch with the comings and goings of Karachi which I absolutely LOVE . *thumbs up* 😀

        1. Omg thank you so much! You’re definitely my favourite commenter <3 You keep saying things that make me feel all warm and fuzzy with happiness. And I'm SO glad, it's helping you keep up with the goings-on in Karachi 🙂

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