One of the first thing I was told when I arrived in BsAs in February, was to at all costs avoid doing my grocery shopping in the chain supermarkets. A better choice is to go to the Chinos (the Chinese stores). The reason — she said — is that going to the supermarkets becomes a whole-day project, due to their slow-motion service. I laughed a bit then, and like all “good advice” I receive as a new arriver, I took it with a big grain of salt.
Turns out that this is completely true — the cashiers in the supermarkets are by far the slowest I have ever encountered. Attending one person with — say — 15 products can easily take over 5 minutes. Imagine then a line with 3 people (which anywhere else in the world would be considered short): that’s 15 minutes of waiting. And when the lines are longer than 4-5 people, I don’t even bother entering the store, but we’re talking 25-30 minutes of waiting to be attended.
Going grocery shopping here is a real case of anger management. Since I have worked as a cashier, I know how fast a person can work. Standing there in line while observing the cashier’s complete lack of hurry almost makes me wanna scream out of frustration.
And I’m sorry Gonçalo, but for these cases not even “seeing it for what it is, not what you’d like it to be“ helps.