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Oh for a fruity morsel


I am prepared to pay a bit more to enjoy and get more out of what I purchase with my hard-earned money

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Maybe I am over-romanticising it a bit, I will concede that much, but to me one of the best things a child can do is to sit under a fruit tree and eat fruit straight off the tree.

One of my fondest memories is sitting under my aunt’s grapevine, with a cluster of grapes in my hand, filling my mouth with the syrupy pellets, biting down and allowing the skins to rupture causing the sweet juice to fill my mouth and trickle down my throat, leaving a delightful taste in my mouth.

I was speaking to a friend recently and she suggested that maybe the attraction was simply the fact that the fruit was free. I don’t know so much; free does not always translate into good, and there is a wide, wide gap between getting a bargain and buying cheap.

In fact, just the other day I leapt with elation in a store because I found a can of shaving foam for under R40 – and this was a chunky, massive 400ml can!

Usually a 200ml aerosol can can set you back R60 or more. However, I learned the difference between “bargain” and “cheap” when I tried to shave using this foam and the razor blade made squeaking sounds on my cheeks and head.

I now still have 395ml of it left, which I estimate means another three months of squeaky cheap shaves. Lesson learned again!

Look, the way I see it is, if I am craving for a peach, for example, I will buy a peach from someone that I know sells quality peaches, and if it costs a bit more I buy fewer but I enjoy them. It is one of the most disheartening experiences to buy a box of cheap peaches, only to discover that the box has more flavour than the fruit that’s when “cheap” turns into waste!

I am prepared to pay a bit more to enjoy and get more out of what I purchase with my hard-earned money.

On the other hand, expensive does not always mean the best. I say so because there is a supermarket chain that has a tray of free fruit for children right at the entrance to their stores. When I look at the fruit I wish I was still a child, because this is not cheap, old shrivelled discards.

The fruit in the basket is fresh, tempting and it’s free!

If I were still a child, I would have sent my parents shopping while I sat under the basket stuffing fruit into my face.

I was tempted to go to the store’s management and demand that they have a “sample” basket for the parents, just so that the adults could taste for themselves if the fruit was as good as it looks.

I am sneaky that way.

However, to those seniors who are tempted to go and see for yourselves how good this fruit is, I’d advise you to be cautious.

Malls are dangerous places for the slow, the aged and the frail.

In almost every store I have visited I have seen supermarket employees bustling around the store, pushing carts of stock to the shelves, and senior citizens having to take evasive measures or else.

Even worse is the young men who recover supermarket carts from the parking lots. They push long trains of carts at alarming speeds through the malls without regard for those who may struggle to give way.

I always wonder how these young people are equipped and trained by the people whose brands they sport on their shirts.

Are they simply told, as if they were brute beasts, to go fetch shopping carts and bring them to the store, or pack shelves?

Because if so, the employer is running the very real risk that one of their under-trained employees will “unintentionally” hurt someone who will not be satisfied with a “sorry ouma” as compensation.

And sitting under a lawsuit – simply because you have not properly briefed or trained your workers, will not be free, neither cheap, and it will leave a very, very unpleasant taste in the mouth.