Helen Bach: All sorts in the supermarket cafe

All human life can be found in the supermarket cafe, thinks Helen
All human life can be found in the supermarket cafe, thinks Helen

Supermarket cafés – all human life is there, isn’t it?

Truthfully, they’re not places I usually visit as I like to support independents, but I had a recall on my car so had half-an-hour or so to waste in an out-of-town location so had little option.

As I sat nursing my ‘mocha’ – actually it tasted like all the contents of the drinks machine emptied into one cup, but adding sugar and stirring vigorously made it just about drinkable – I took a look round at the other occupants on this cold Friday afternoon.

An elderly couple had come in for their fish and chips.

A great discussion ensued as they decided who was going to put the number card in the holder so the assistant knew at which table they were seated.

He tried and couldn’t, so she wrestled it from his grasp, gave him a look of disdain, then triumphantly placed it in the correct position.

A young couple arrived with a child.

They had to carry a high chair from the front of the café, narrowly avoiding taking out several tables in the process.

Near me sat a mismatched couple, whispering conspiratorially and holding hands across the melamine table.

It looked for all the world like a clandestine meeting, but why you’d choose to hold it in this particular location was beyond me.

Behind me was an extended family enjoying their late lunch.

They ate happily and noisily, having selected nearly every hot meal from the menu, in an eclectic mix of taste sensations.

As I got up to leave, a smartly dressed couple entered.

They were obviously newcomers to this party, as they didn’t collect a tray and stood gazing at the drinks machine, wondering which buttons to press.

Perhaps I should have warned them about the ‘mocha’, but I walked off into the sunset to collect my car and head for home, leaving behind the supermarket café and its variety of customers.

Read more from Helen here.