One cigarette at a time

I was almost done grocery shopping and popped in to buy milk at the little shop around the corner. I stood behind two men, waiting to make my purchase. As we crowded together in the small space in front of the store, I eavesdropped on the transactions.The first customer asked to buy a cigarette and the young cashier removed a single cigarette from a half empty pack of Sportsman.  A single cigarette. The second man asked for four slices of bread which the young man behind the counter removed from a small loaf of bread and put into a black plastic bag. I bought a little pouch of fresh milk, and as I bent down to gather my bundles, a young lady walked up to the counter and purchased ten shillings of phone credit, the equivalent of about ten cents.


In my other life on the other side of the globe, we buy cigarettes by the carton, super jumbo loaves of bread, gallon jugs of milk, and phone contracts for fifty dollars a month. Doesn’t buying more of…whatever…at one time make more sense?  (And I haven’t even mentioned Costco). Why does my culture in the USA do it so differently? Because we can afford to. But, if you’re earning five dollars a day, or live in a one room home, or don’t have electricity or a refrigerator, you buy only what you need for the day.

Well of course.

I have so much to learn….





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