I was trying to buy some things for the Passover Seder - and as a treat, I went to the local Waitrose, the one at Canary Wharf. They had a stock of horseradish so I bought a massive one for the full impact of Bitter Herbs and then I walked around looking for the Passover section. They have a regular section for Kosher food so I went there but there was no Mazzahs. I then went to the part they have which is divided into ethnic food types but still no Mazzah so I went back to the kosher part and asked a man who works there.
Where are the Mazzahs, the stuff for Passover?
He pointed to the Kosher part.
I said, that stuff is for everyday. I looked at him and being Asian (Indian) I said, you know like Halal. I explained that I want the stuff for the festival. He said there isn't any and I saw red.

It's not that I expect every supermarket to stock Jewish and Jewish-festival items, but if they stock Kosher things then I expected som awareness of Jewishness. I felt misled, like Wiatrose pretends to be aware of ethnicity, aware of religion, and yet when you actually might rely on them, they let you down. Like it's some glib slick thing and not from the heart.

I then got very nervous about going to my local Sainsbury's. Usually they have a whole section in the Kosher foods section with a big display saying Happy Passover (this is an old Jewish area with some very elderly Jews living locally). Like when its Eid they have a Peaceful Eid sign and loads of dates and other fasting related foods. But this year I was nervous. I was anticipating being disappointed. I thought that the Iraq situation and the way the Israel is focused on might mean that they would chose to minimize any Jewish signs or provisions. But I bit the bullet and went (partly because it was my last chance - it was getting late in the afternoon).

They did have a much smaller section than previous years and the boxes of Mazzah were placed in a wierdly difficult to find area, but the staff were great and straight forward when you asked them where things were. I wasn't made to feel bad, like a freak, or a pariah and I'm grateful to the (Bengali) staff who were unfazed.

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