I recently went to do my shopping at Fornaci di Barga’s ‘Eurospin’ supermarket (very competitive prices, especially for the wine) and searched my pocket for a coin to release a trolley from its stand. I then realized there was no need to do this as all trolleys were unchained.
My attention was drawn to this notice in the trolley-stand.
‘Accattonaggio’ (incidentally, spelt incorrectly on the notice) was a new word to me. I’d viewed Pasolini’s gritty film ‘Accattone’ many years ago and realized that the word had something to do with a rough life. ‘Accattonaggio’, in fact, means ‘begging’ and I realized why the trolleys no longer required a coin to be deposited in them for their release. It was to do with the fact that at many supermarkets in Italy there is a band of asylum seekers who ask you for your trolley, once you’ve placed its contents in your car boot, in order to take it back to the stand and claim your coin for their services rendered in returning it.
The notice reminded me of another sad situation, this time in London where barriers have been put in front of some stores to prevent rough sleepers from camping there overnight.
Could the ex-travellers on rubber dinghies across the Med have become so inopportunely aggressive at Fornaci’s Eurospin for these measures to be implemented by the store’s management or was that management really off its trolley? I wonder. In any case there was the usual African bag and belt seller by the store entrance, with his wares elegantly laid out, talking to a couple of customers. So the store tolerated him, at least.
I have not seen this coinless-trolley system used elsewhere in our area. ‘Penny Market’ at Borgo a Mozzano has its usual bevvy of ‘trolley beggars’ but they have not appeared to me to be so impolite or insistent there.
In the meanwhile are we to see more instances of that vile habit, so endemic in Britain’s urban centres, of hijacking trolleys to dump them in ponds, rivers and creeks? After all that’s why the system of releasing trolleys only by the introduction of a pound coin was introduced in the first place!
(A Mountain of a problem? Leaving ‘Eurospin’, Fornaci di Barga with the lovely Pania Secca and Della Croce in front of us)