This is how it all started, two days ago…
“I feel like this is trivial, but I’m hoping for some good answers….
Has anyone seen Heinz ketchup anywhere lately?”
A comment on an expat page of facebook and the torrent began. Criticism and advice to make your own jolly ketchup, live green. The counter argument (and one of my own so don’t judge) that of course I would but it’s the children, the children. The soft words of tastes of home, small comforts and …. WE NEED HEINZ KETCHUP!
Following were 46 comments, viewed by 88 people… a feeling of trivia that shows the reality of living overseas… nothing is trivial. I can’t really say it is a taste of home to me or that I could not survive with out it, but the news that the warehouses are empty and there may be no more sent me on a detour, out of my way, into the middle of the city on a crowded morning, small child in hand and into the supermarket. There on the row second from bottom I saw Heinz ketchup, I quickly took a bottle but noticed the shelf behind appeared to be empty… the last one???? I suddenly had a flash back to Indiana Jones and some great crusade and so, I moved the small child behind me to safety, tipped my hat and peered into the dark vacuum now created by removing that ketchup bottle. Surely it could not be, someone please show me the light, this could not be it, the final, red plastic bottle of flavour. I quickly put into check my rising feelings of regret of not having hidden our precious ketchup from our visitors who have just left and would be able to walk the aisles and purchase said ketchup without ever caring. No, I would not be bitter, I had the bottle. Then sneakily staring at me from behind the Heinz Hot Ketchup (which of course we do not care if it goes out of supply as it is hot) I saw not just one more tomato ketchup but three! 3! Can you believe it, 3 more bottles on the shelf, there in the supermarket. My mind flashed to my unknown faces of the expat facebook friends I saw their pleading eyes, their wishes and wondered if it may be possible to purchase it and get it to them. I decided probably not. And so, knowing that greed is bad, I took two more bottles, leaving one, slightly out of sight to bring hope to some other weary heart. I never checked the price, it was irrelevant, I was triumphant, an overcomer, the bravest of the brave and the Queen of Ketchup (Heinz of course).
This may seem like one of the most random blog posts you’ve even bothered to skim past, and bravo to you for getting this far. There is a point. Fear makes us do weird things, it pushes us out of our way. I remember inviting my mother in law over for coffee at 2.17 one afternoon to eventually get round to the true point of asking her to kill a spider for me. Fear to speak to the foreigner stops us ever discovering someone’s story and places them into isolation. Fear of heights stops us standing atop the mountain and seeing the most glorious view (ever scarier when the only way up is a cable car!)
But fear can push us… through the crowded streets and into the supermarket, to sit by the boy in class no one else likes because we know how he feels, to stand and say this is not right because we know this time we cannot be silent.
Living oversea’s provides potential platforms for fear (great alliteration!) Before we came our ears were filled with what if’s…. But the biggest fear for me is to become a prisoner to the “What if’s…” and miss out on the discovery.
And just as a congratulations for getting to the end here are some interesting Heinz Ketchup facts….
Ketchup exits the iconic glass bottle at .028 miles per hour
Heinz sells 11 billion single-serve packets of ketchup per year around the world. That’s 2 packets for every person on earth.
Over 650 million bottles of Heinz Ketchup are sold around the world in more than 140 countries
THIS IS TOP SECRET AND ONLY 11% OF PEOPLE KNOW… tapping the “57” on the neck of the glass bottle is the optimum way to get ketchup out of the bottle.