Saturday, June 06, 2009

ID, please.

In the United Kingdom, there are strict laws enforced on the sale of alcohol, particularly to young people under 18 years old. I think it is a great policy since I do observe that the youths here do not moderate their drinking or practise sensible drinking at all. It doesn't help when the wines and alcoholic spirits are extremely affordable here. I can get a bottle of wine for 3 pounds (~ SGD7+).

As such, I am glad to see cashiers at the supermarkets putting on their strictest expressions and demanding for IDs, each time someone of questionable age attempts to buy alcohol.

Although I am in my late twenties, I do think that the people here have a hard time discerning my exact age. It doesn't help if I usually all decked out in my hoodie and track pants on a typical trip to the supermarket. I guess Asians tend to look younger to them. Thus, the frequent requests for ID whenever there are purchases of wine.

Yesterday, I decided to buy sparkling juice for dinner instead.

Cashier: Hi, how are you doing?
Me: Great, and you?

The cashier frowned as she held my bottle of sparkling blackcurrant juice.

Cashier: Can I see your ID, please?

I did a double-take. This is an equivalent of being asked for ID when I am buying a bottle of sparkling Ribena in Singapore.

Buy Ribena, need ID!

I could have easily shown my ID, but then the whole concept of indignance and privacy fell over me.

Me: What?
Cashier: Your ID, please.
Me: I didn't know I need an ID to buy sparkling juice.
Cashier: What?!

The cashier obviously thought I was a teenybopper, trying to trick her into selling alcohol to an illegal consumer.

Me: This isn't wine. This is juice.

With a look of suspicion, she scanned the bottle and realised I wasn't lying. Suddenly, she was considerably friendlier.

Cashier: OH, I am so sorry! I thought it was wine.
Me: That's ok. You are just doing your job.
Cashier: I am so sorry!

She started offering me extra plastic bags to carry my groceries.

Me: It's ok if you want to check my ID anyway. I am almost 30.

She gave a small gasp of surprise.

So, anytime you guys are feeling crappy about this age thing, come here!


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