The art of browsing and lingering

I popped out to the shops this evening to pick up some essentials. We are all meant to be about 2 meters apart at all times, so it was a bit awkward wandering around the shop. I’ve noticed that most people don’t make eye contact and quietly get down to the business of shopping. It’s like a smash-and-grab robbery, they get in and get out, no time is wasted, and there’s no small talk.

One of the things I miss most about pre-Covid-19 shopping is the act of browsing, lingering and lurking. It hit me when I was standing in an aisle deciding what to buy, and I noticed a woman pacing a few yards behind me. I realized she was waiting for me to leave before she could pick up want she wanted. I quickly moved aside to give her space, and she swooped in and picked up what she needed, just like a hungry seagull grabbing a french fry from someone’s plate.

I’m looking forward to some quality browsing and lurking again when the urgency of essential shopping is behind us. Things like:

Browsing the butchery and enjoying the look of all the different cuts of beef and poultry. Checking to see if the leg of lamb is from New Zealand or Sonoma County.

Taking a slow walk through the farmer’s market on a Sunday morning and sampling some juicy fruit and checking to see if the eggs are intact before I buy them. The fresh seafood displays with crabs, salmon, and scallops on ice are always worth a mouth-watering look.

Spending some time wandering through a dusty second-hand bookstore where there is a little table and chair at the back of the room inviting me to sit down and test drive a book or two.

Sitting at a sushi bar and listening to the banter from the sushi chef and a local barfly.

I’m looking forward to supporting small business owners in person again and sharing a quick chat and smile when we all get back out there.

alejandro-duarte-8dwYOzLPCtA-unsplashPhoto by Alejandro Duarte on Unsplash

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