When you move across the country you get the opportunity to re-evaluate everything. This including shopping habits for me. I LOVED my Superstore out east. It was my home away from home and was safely within walking distance when there was no snow on the ground. (We had no sidewalks in my hood.)
In Vancouver, it is very different. Every Real Canadian Superstore is pretty damn far away. This one on South Marine Drive is the original one I went to when we first move to Vancouver in 2000. The first time I went there, I had a panic attack. It was on a Saturday afternoon and people moved so fast and it was so dense with shoppers… I started to panic and felt dizzy and just wanted to “get out.” I 100% hated it. We only went when necessary and for the most part I went shopping through an online grocer instead.
We did check out this Extra Foods which is literally for, extra foods. This one had no shopping carts that we could find and was not a complete grocery store. Well, not a complete grocery store for me. They didn’t even have our yogurt bars that we love!
For those who do not know, the first big shop we did when we moved to Nova Scotia was at my Superstore and on the way home Reg and I were in a very bad head-on collision and both ended up in the hospital. As a result, I have serious post traumatic stress going to the store via car. So going for our first big shop at the Real Canadian Superstore in Vancouver at the store that gave me panic attacks… Let’s just say I was more than a little nervous.
We got into our car and started driving to the South Marine Drive location for the very first time. Suddenly, we realized we were driving west. Directly into the sun which was right above the horizon.
Like vampires we hissed at the sun’s brilliant blinding power. We raised our hands to our seared eyeballs. I was convinced we were going to smash into another car. Absolutely blinded, Reg somehow managed to turn off the main road. We closed our eyes, breathing heavily. My heart was beating ferociously.
We decide to wait for the sun to go down.
We completed our shop. It was dinner time so we could avoid crowds. As we get to the car I wanted to videotape a celebratory moment that we did it! Which was stupid because we were not home yet. But I was in a positive mood.
I don’t know how it happened but the swinging back door of our car smashed into my hip. The good news is we did manage to make it home OK but OUCH! Despite our efforts to be positive and have a fresh grocery store first shop, it was a pretty damn stressful.
After that we avoided sundown like the plague and preferred to go at night, usually on Sunday nights when The Walking Dead is on and the place is pretty quiet (thank goodness for our PVR).
I came to the realization that I just can’t NOT shop at a Superstore! It’s MY store! It is true the Vancouver one is not as homey as the Lower Sackville one I used to go to but that is OK. Plus, President’s Choice products are now artificial colour and flavour free. (It’s part of their CRAVE program.) Yet another reason why I want to shop there.
On the totally other end of the foodie spectrum, they even sold Count Chocula and Franken Berry at Halloween! Although I am personally a Boo Berry fanatic.
Just seeing those there made me feel so at home. It was at this moment I said, yes. This is my particular store.
We got home safely with all sorts of sauces, condiments and products that first night that I just could not live without. Luckily with where I am there are lots of markets for fresh produce too but when it comes to things like avocado mayo and balsamic glaze, I want President’s Choice.
I have had nothing but absolute instability in my life the last six months so having a grocery store I can call my new foodie home, where I can get the products I have relied on and enjoyed for years and years, is irreplaceable.
I just have to make sure not to go during the vampire hour and set my PVR so that the store is safe to get to and feels like a graveyard. No elbowing, rushing, bumping… Just your average slow-moving foodie zombie picking up her groceries for the week.