There are many stupid things I have been known to do during my pregnancy, but perhaps none was as challenging or stupid as trying to navigate my way around one of Hong Kong's busiest supermarkets at 4.30pm on Christmas Eve. I would like to point out that I only actually needed one thing for the dinner I am cooking for two close friends and their little daughter this evening. However, I needed the main ingredient (sea bass) and there were very few places I could be bothered to walk to that I knew would have it.
The supermarket was heaving. There must have been a few hundred people crammed into the tiny aisles, which are not spacious at the best of times, all trying to buy last minute provisions.
After being shoved and bumped a few times and being stoically British about it (i.e. muttering at a volume nobody could actually hear) I decided that for the safety of my child and my own sanity I was going to get a bit stroppy. So I shoved my way through the crowds, every time someone bumped me I would loudly say in my best Queen's english accent "excuse me, could you please be careful" and point to the Bump, resulting in apologies and offers to let me through first. Even the man at the fish counter ignored the numbered tag system and served me quickly.
When I went to pay the line for the tills was about 150 people long and stretching outside the shop itself. So, again pulling the pregnancy card out of my back pocket, I sidled up to someone in authority and asked whether there was an express line somewhere. He took one look at the frazzled me and the size of the bump and whisked me off to my own till, where I paid in about 3 minutes. No mean feat when, apparently, the main line for the tills was taking upwards of 25 minutes.
I would like to thank the Bump for making my evening a little less stressful, and the lovely manager man for being so nice. Or accurately surmising that he either got me out of there or the hormones would take over and the newspapers tomorrow would be full of a story about a mad pregnant woman killing a store manager with four bits of slightly chilled sea bass.
Merry Christmas to you all.