In response to Daily Post’s daily prompt: sacrifice.
A continuation of my VOCABULARY OF SUPERMARKETS series. The previous ones were Costco and Loblaws. Feel free to click on the links and check them out. 🙂
Metro is the first supermarket I went to in Canada. So although the Metro itself is not that special in any way, for me it is where I can best feel the texture, the touch of being new to a place.
I remember when it was hot in Toronto. I remember when we first moved out of our hotel suite and into our rented condo. And I remember we took the bus and then the subway carrying an empty suitcase just to go shop for things, because we needed pretty much everything.
I remember when we were on the subway, and a guy kicked my dad on his shin, just because our suitcase bumped against him slightly. I remember he wore very heavy and shiny (and may I say, stupid) boots. That was the first ugliness we came across in Canada. But that was also the only one. My dad was startled, angry but quietly angry.
It felt like we were a Metro cart. A wheel didn’t work quite well. The cart was pushed, rushed, bumped against here and there. Hard things in jumbo boxes and new stuff we couldn’t quite name were tossed into the cart.
The first Metro we went to was huge, or it appears so in my mind because on that day everything seemed unfamiliar. And in that huge Metro in my memory floats strangely minute details: The flower shop in Metro is called Desjardins. It just came naturally that we should get flowers, to… liven up something. We bought some green daisies, purple lilies and pink roses, and I picked a balloon that says “Happily ever after”. The clerk at Desjardins showed us where to find those pitchers that have water purifiers. We did not know if you drink tap water or boiled water in Canada. She also said welcome to Canada. We went back to our condo, set out the flowers and we made it a home.
The flower shop in Metro is called Desjardins.
Then it was Thanksgiving. First winter in Canada. We had already learned how to use the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) system, when to use tokens and when to get family tickets. My mom and I had already discussed the possibility of the name Metro originating from its location always close to subway stations. It was very cold. Mom loves discovering new things. There were roasted chickens at Metro, and we were so excited to get one. Then when Mom was getting it, a teeny tiny bit of her hand brushed against the electronic heater thing. A bit of skin came off.
The chicken was delicious. We bought it many times after that. It was cold outside. The chicken was delicious.
Today we were celebrating Mother’s day. We went to two markets, and they have always been doing last week, my parents bought plants- so many plants. They seem to have this crazily beautiful scheme to fill as much of our new house with flowers as possible. And we went to Metro again. We went to Desjardins, to be accurate. We bought some very beautiful orchid and had a super happy and beautiful conversation with the clerks.
I love Metro, because I kind of have to love it. I mean, it’s seen all the changes of our family since we came to Canada. It knows too many of our secrets. Shhhhh… 😉 But fortunately, we’ve learned a lot of Canada’s secrets too.
We don’t go to Metro often, but Metro makes me happy because we always find stuff to lighten up our lives there. Flowers, Chinese dumplings, chicken… I mean, it didn’t have to be Metro. Could’ve been Loblaws, or Walmart.
But what matters here for me, especially the night before Mother’s Day, is that Metro now stands for the sacrifice my parents made to live with me in Canada. They left behind their company, their families. And they always make it work. They taught me that wherever we are, learn to 过日子, which means to LIVE every day.
They taught me that you can buy surprises even from Metro.