Tesco Adventures.

This post is by way of introduction to what will, I’m sure, be an ongoing saga.

Here in Shah Alam I have two Tesco supermarkets almost within walking distance. One used to be a Makro, and is now called “Tesco Extra.” I’m not sure what the “extra service” is supposed to be, as my visits never seem to result in happy endings;-)

I don’t really know why I frequent either of them, since shopping at Carrefour seems to be a much more pleasant experience. I guess it’s because they are so close to home. To get the things I regularly need, I have to visit both Tescos. For some reason they have different products.

Only Tesco Extra has a non-halal section, where I can buy pork products. They are not always fresh, so care is needed. But their other meats – like chicken – seem to be sold out by the time I get there. And their beef always looks so old and jaded I’m surprised it doesn’t get up and walk out on its own. So, I go to the other Tesco for meat, and also have to go there for ground coffee. Why would two almost-identical Tescos not both sell ground coffee? I’m afraid when it comes to my adventures, it’s best not to ask questions.

Okay, enough of the background, what about the adventures?

Well, here’s a couple of examples:

One time I bought four bottles of cheap wine – the only kind I can afford. All the bottles were the same brand, if that’s the right word, and they were a brand I tried before and liked. When I opened the first, I noticed a strange odor. Yup, it was corked. So, I tried the second. Same thing. They’d probably been left out in the sun somewhere. It seemed strange to open four bottles of wine in as many minutes, but I was hoping to find one to be drinkable. I failed.

Luckily I’d kept the receipt, so of course I returned them all and politely requested a refund. Forty minutes later I was still arguing with a variety of Tesco personnel. I’m sure Tesco has a refund policy, so you’d think there would be no discussion on the matter.

Ah, but you see, I was told I couldn’t return them because I’d opened them. How stupid of me. Clearly I was supposed to communicate with the wine by telepathy, to ask it whether or not it was drinkable. Actually opening the bottle to taste the wine was a serious no-no.

So now you see. That’s just one of my epic Adventures in Tescoland. Of course, I wasn’t budging without a refund, and that’s what I eventually procured. I’m sure they gave in just to get rid of me.

You want another adventure? Well, please wait a moment, because this one’s not quite finished.

The next time I went to buy wine … guess what? The four bottles I’d returned were back on the shelf. Complete with the corks sticking halfway out of the necks, where I’d left them. The bottles sat there for months, until either some Tesco-person with a brain removed them, or some customer without a brain bought them. I suspect the latter.

And then there was the case of the case. A case of beer that is. One day I was about to pick up a two four of my favorite Tigers, when I noticed a foul smell. (That’s Canuck-speak for a case of twenty-four.) Then I noticed the sticky brown liquid everywhere. Then I saw the flies.

I figured at least a couple of cans in the top case must be leaking, so, trying to be aGoodCustomer, I gingerly lifted it and placed it on the floor at the end of the shelves. A sales-person was alerted, and she sent for some supervisor-type. Having been briefed, the supervisor then clearly thought we were both mad, and promptly placed the smelly case, complete with sticky brown liquid and attendant flies, back on the shelf. Which left me with a trip to the other Tesco to buy beers.

So, there you have it. More adventures to come. Stay tuned.


...has been travelling the world for more than sixty years; having lived and worked in five countries and travelled to many many more.

He likes to write about his travels - present and past - along with his other main interests of Drones, Information Technology and Motorsport, and he adds a few general twitterings along the way.

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