On my (Ondřej Sojka from Our Good School) way for shopping in the Czech store Billa, I suddenly felt the urge to eat pate called hummus. I decide that the pre-pared hummus in the shop is too expensive for a poor student. So, I buy dry tomatoes on a discount. (If you didn´t know, the Czech national sport is buying things on a discount) I look for chickpeas in a can, but they are nowhere to be found.
I don´t want to change a plan, so I follow my steps to the other shop nearby, which is also Billa. I go down to the basement where they should have, but my chickpeas aren´t there. That´s why I change a plan, going to Albert. (another Czech market)
While I am leaving the shop, I meet a very rude guard of the shop. He blocks my way and tells me to open my bag pack, where I have a few things, which I bought in a different shop. At first, I didn´t succeed with arguments that I bought the food somewhere else. Secondly, I tried to bargain my way out, saying that I will leave him the things, he thinks that I had stolen. (it was something for 6€)
No, no, no, he is very convinced that he caught me stealing. That´s why the chap shows me to follow him to the room for stuff. The funniest thing is that he didn´t even ask me if I have the receipt, which to my sadness and stupidity, I truly didn´t take at the automatic cashier.
When we are alone with another guard, he starts to shout at me, that he will call the police. He is so pissed, it looks like he will get a heart attack, but I am even more pissed. He tells me to lay everything on the table and starts to search through my bag pack. I have a laptop there, that’s why I ask him “Do you think that if I have money to buy a laptop, I will steal from you three small pieces of bread?” He: ”You would be surprised, people steal smaller things in here.” I tell him I was only in the basement, how come that I have vegetables and bread, which they offer only on the upper floor.
Fortunately, the guard who is sitting behind the table says that she trusts me, and she finds the address of the different shop is written on the etiquette. The guy still dislikes the tomatoes, which was the only thing in the basement. Then I say ok, so I just leave the tomatoes and go to hell away from here. He accuses me: “Why are you retreating, are you admitting the thief?” Only now, the man tells me that I for sure don´t have the receipt. He starts again talking about the police. However, seeing that he is wasting his time and I won´t admit stealing anything, he lets me go. Furthermore, he has a lot of stupid things to say, of how many terrible people exists in this world, I agree with him for the first time, haha.
I am still mad, same as at the man, as at my stupidity, but I decide to finish the guest today- find my chickpeas. I go to zero waste shop where it is expensive, but the price is not important anymore. I am in a queue, where the cashier reports that her screen is not working. I see a disconnected cable and as a gentleman try my luck to connect it again. What I thought will be the easiest thing in my life was a ten minutes battle. Meanwhile, an awkward queue started to form and people watched me failing again and again. The woman wants to give up but right after she says so, I manage to plug it in. (the cable ending was very old and in a bad position) I get my 20% discount on chickpeas, very content with myself. I could never imagine how much adventure you can face only for one can of chickpeas.
Ondřej Sojka volunteer in Our Good School in Katowice
(the project is co-funded by European Solidarity Corps)