I’d love to offer you some charming introduction to this one, but I can’t think of a way to ease into it.

The other lunchtime, I was just in the supermarket, looking at the sushi when I get a tap on the shoulder, accompanied with an ‘I’ve found you!’ and a smiling Chinese man cradling an unusually large apple. I assumed that, once he saw my somewhat bewildered face when I turned around, he might realise his mistake and revoke his assertion that he had in fact found the person he was looking for. I certainly hadn’t come across him before. Instead, he repeats his assertion, slightly louder, and taps me on the arm again, just in case he hadn’t already got my attention. So, naturally, I smile, put down my sushi, back away slowly and find another aisle. (I don’t rate sushi anyway so it’s a good job my next intention is to move to Japan.)

Next stop, the avocados.

I realise that I probably sound like the most middle class shopper ever to anyone from the UK, I mean I’m shopping for avo and sushi on my lunch break, but they’re honestly both so cheap here. (Yes, that is one of my favourite things about living in Hong Kong.)

I’m crouching, carefully holding each avocado, as you do, to locate the very best, when who should tap me on the shoulder again but my old friend from the sushi section. ‘I’ve found you’. *Queue nervous laughter*. He then says: ‘You found me’ and gestures to himself nodding and smiling. At this point, I mostly feel confusion and a longing to choose my avocados in peace – sadly, spoiler alert, this is not the way the events continued to unfold, as he followed this pattern up and down every aisle that I happened to venture down in attempt to lose him.

Upon picking up some tomatoes, he ventured to expand the English he had so far wowed me with, pointed to them, and then proceeded to tell me that they were potatoes, or rather shout that they were potatoes because his voice seemed to have gotten louder the more aisles that he had followed me down. So, I decided that it was about time that I give him more of a response than a nervous smile and a quick dash and corrected his mistake – they were not potatoes, they were tomatoes.

He did not agree. This is how the scenario played out:

‘Potatoes’ – pointing to the tomatoes
‘Tomatoes’ – pointing to the tomatoes
‘Potatoes’ – pointing to the tomatoes
‘Tomatoes’ – pointing to the tomatoes
(louder) ‘Potatoes’ – pointing with more force to the tomatoes
(Same volume as before) ‘No, no, they are tomatoes, not potatoes’
(So loud that most heads in the supermarket turn) ‘POTATOES’
‘These are tomatoes’
(Angrily) ‘POTATOES’ *runs out of supermarket still cradling large apple*

This is how the scenario should have played out:

*Ella walks into the supermarket, gets some sushi, picks up an avocado, pays and leaves without any strange social interactions*

I find myself wondering if nonsense like this happens to everyone or if I’m just one of those fortunate individuals that attracts such odd occurrences. (Upon asking a couple of friends, it would appear I am one of the lucky ones) It wouldn’t be the first time something like this has happened to me and I highly doubt it will be the last.


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