across the road from the main shopping centre.
We have all been watching this being built over the past year. Comments have been many and varied and there have been grumbles about the disruption to traffic as the concrete mixers and cranes and transporters made their way to and from the site.
The supermarket finally opened on Wednesday. I did not go and look then. I did go and look yesterday. The Senior Cat wanted to know about it because it sells other things apart from food. Was it, he wanted to know, worth a visit sometime?
I went to have a look.
It isn't what I consider to be very accessible. To enter from the street you either need to go up a long ramp intended for prams and baby buggies/pushers or shopping trolleys. A wheelchair user could use it but the corner is only just within regulations. If you don't use the ramp there are six steps - rather steep steps.
I thought there had to be something better than that as I made my way very cautiously up those steps. Oh. Yes, the usual electronic access from the car park beneath the building - or more stairs.
I went in. I went up and down the aisles. I didn't linger.
Yes, you could buy most of the usual things but the brands were different and limited. The sizes tended to be "large".
As I was there I picked up another box of paper tissues for the Senior Cat. The claim was they are made in Downunder. I wonder why I haven't come across that brand before?
Prices varied. Most were about the same. The place was curiously quiet. Perhaps it had been busier the day before?
I went back over to main shopping centre. It was Thursday busy - pension day for many people means that they shop then. There's a 5% discount on eligible items in one of the two supermarkets there on Thursdays. The staff know a lot of the customers.
The manager came out and, seeing a little queue in the lane for just a few items, served several customers himself. One of the staff said, "Hello Cat." A student who works in there said, "I just emailed you my first assignment Cat. Are you sure you don't mind looking at it?"
No, I don't. You're a refugee and getting this far has been very hard work. You're the first person in your family to go to university too. I didn't need to say that. It's the sort of thing you find out when other students who work there talk to you too.
I caught up with the good news that someone was home from hospital and "doing really well" as I waited to be served.
"Leave that Mr..... and I'll drop it in on my way home," I heard one of the young staff members say to the customer ahead of me. I know he lives just around the corner from the old man in question but he doesn't need to do it.
Mr.... smiled at me and said quietly, "Now why would I be wanting to go across the road when I get service like that here?"
The new supermarket may be good for young families who want to rush in after work. They may want things in large quantities. Choice - or the lack of it - may not bother them.
I assume the owners of the new supermarket have done their homework. They must believe people will go there to shop.
Some of us will continue to go where people say, "Hello Cat."