Here’s what it takes to buy a can of black beans from the pink supermarket near my office:
1. Hand plastic bags that I’m carrying from other-supermarket-that-didn’t-have-black-beans to the doorman who puts them in a numbered cubby hole then hands me a little piece of cardboard with the same number.
2. Visually find beans on shelf behind counter and ask shopkeeper for it. Note: This step can often take a very long time when there are many people in the shop. Today there were few, so I was attended to somewhat immediately.
3. Take beans to cashier who handwrites a receipt. Pay this same person.
4. Take beans plus receipt to another table near the door where one man collects the receipt and another puts beans in a plastic bag.
5. Wait for doorman who is now busy with receipt guy counting something.
6. Hand cardboard number to plastic bag guy who realizes I’m waiting and gives me my other bags from the cubby hole.