so one of the stressful things about going to the big discount supermarket is that the checkout people are so fast, by the time you've found your debit card to hand over, your groceries are all piled up at the end of the moving carpet thing, and the next person's stuff is already threatening to topple and co-mingle. and these are small, european checkout counters, and you don't have the separator thingie so the whole line, as well as the cashier will be glaring at you, like hungry lions, their eyes saying "get your shit out of here so we can eat."
so you must prepare ahead of time. you get your money out, you arrange your bag in grocery collecting formation, plan your packing strategy far in advance, you put the heavy things in front. eggs last. stuff you can stick in your pockets in the middle. it takes a lot of planning and there is little room for error.
but nothing culd have prepared be for the tattooed guy at the ostbahnhof lidl with glasses so thick you underestimate his dexterity. guy was like a dog digging a hole. his hands were a blur, and there was nary a nano-second between beeps of the machine. he may have even just dragged everything at once over the sensor, like the guy who just won the pot during poker. i must have looked away for a tiny moment, pondering the impulse buy offerings and when i look over, he's leaning back, hands behind his head all proud. and all my stuff, piled up, mixed up senslessly, all that delicate forethought for nothing. as i got the glare from him and every homeless drunk in line behind with their plastic 6 pack of beer that they are paying for with the bottle refunds from yesterday night's binge.