Waiting

Standing in the queue for Jordan’s supermarket. Haven’t moved a single step in forty minutes. People are keeping something of a distance. It isn’t a two metre distance though. The eponymous two metres. The sun is strong on our shoulders. No shade, but enough of a breeze rustling to stop mass overheating. Still, it’s impossible not to wriggle.

This takes me back to hot summers in Poland in the 1980s. Standing and waiting. Never quite sure why. My grandma queuing for something – food, supplies, information. I didn’t care. I must have been a bit slow (still am 🥴), but it was just nice to wait with her. My grandma was so pretty and lively.

Also, she never shouted at me. A bit sensitive as well as slow. Well actually she did once, when I forgot my passport on the way to the airport after a long summer spent with my grandparents – but that wasn’t my fault. I was like nine. Travelling on my own. I got it. She didn’t want me to leave.

In Poland, people used to hire pensioners to queue for them. There was a lot of chatting in the lines too. Plenty of banter. They used to say that queues were the way you got to know your neighbours. Here in Barbados, the pensioners have been allowed in the store first. No one else is allowed into the store until the pensioners all leave. Boy, I hope they’re not stockpiling.

Cap’s in the shade. Across the street. We need the Cap. He’s staring at his phone that I’m using to write this with, but I got another five minutes. We agreed – ten minutes each. Girls meanwhile are onboard doing school, using my phone to hotspot. We told them any bickering or tales and they’ll lose their privileges for a week. This means data for Lulu. Writing and drawing book for Delph.

Personally, if Quest has taught me anything, it’s the dynamic of sisters. One uses her tongue and the other her claws. And don’t get me wrong – I love girls. Still, we have the VHF just in case. We are ten minutes away.

In the meantime, I’ll admire these Bajan woman in the line. The woman in front of me is wearing a sports top with the name ‘Slimz’ written on it, aviator sunglasses – and a flowery shower cap. That combo takes gumption. Oh and tight jean shorts. She is surveying everything around her like she’s in charge. I believe her.

The women behind me seem more church-ey. There’s a group of them, all holding up umbrellas for shade. Their smiles are comforting. Their shoes are comfortable. Every once in a while, a laugh ripples through their group. I’m right on the edge. Far enough hopefully not to catch droplets of beatific bodily fluid. Still, if they can wait in this sun, I can wait in this sun. I got this. Hey Babciu.