So I was in a parade of shops in a tatty quarter of Norwich, which, Norwich being Norwich, nevertheless has a quality butcher in it. I had no cash for the sausages I was intending to buy. I walked along the row; there’s a Tesco Express, a Somerfield and a Co-Op but none of these had a cashpoint machine. Next there’s a branch of Santander with no cashpoint machine either. Next there’s a Shell petrol station. That does have a cashpoint machine, of the type that ‘will charge you for £1.50 for this transaction.’ You only ever find these in motorway service stations, nighclubs, and in poor parts of town. They should be illegal.
I bought a few things in Somerfield in order to get a cashback. At the next til a scrawny ill-looking, blonde and made up woman of indeterminate age was after ten cigarettes. When she was asked what kind she replied, ‘The cheapest.’ These turned out to be 10 Sterling in a sliver box, £2.72.
My pork and leek bangers were £4.85 for eight. Maybe the butcher would have taken a card payment anyway, I feel embarrassed to try it on for less than a tenner, but perhaps I wouldn’t if I lived life in the parade with the bandit cashpoint.
In a further counterpoint to my Waitrose encounter of a few days back, I heard about this bestselling book that’s to be published over here soon, the Confessions of a French Checkout Girl, or, the rather sexier sounding Les Tribulations d’une Caissière in its own tongue. It introduces a great new word Beepeuse.