In my family, it was (still is) quite usual to make a trip to the grocery store each and every day. Sometimes twice. We know all the Marsh cashiers by name, and we know which Marsh has the good sushi (Chris and I do anyways) but also whether you should buy certain food items at Marsh or Costco. If grocery shopping were a science, my family would have it down pat.
So, coming here as a grocery store aficionado, I felt pretty confident with my grocery shopping ability. Okay, minus the fact that all the food products (AND THEIR COOKING INSTRUCTIONS) are in another language. And minus the fact that they have a produce section here the size of a postage stamp. And minus the fact that they only carry a very small selection of food in their stores. And minus the fact that you can only buy food at the grocery, nothing else, like toiletries, school supplies, or medicine. Buuut aside from all these differences I felt pretty comfortable at the grocery store. Ash and I go about once a week and load up for the week. It wasn’t until the other day that I realized that there was something weird going on.
As I looked in other people’s baskets (no one uses the carts here) they only had a few items in their baskets. Five maximum. In line to check out, Ash and I would unload our twenty plus items onto the conveyer belt, and the people behind us (holding their one baguette and small chunk of cheese) would groan at the idea of having to wait for us to check our MANY items out. Don’t you people eat? More than one small baguette of bread and small chunk of cheese a day?? Even the mothers that have to cook for their entire families don’t buy more than two or three things at a time. In our household (granted we always cook a meal so there is enough juuust in case the fifth army stops by) that would never fly. Even though we usually go to the store twice a day, we still somehow end up coming out with bags full of things to stock the pantry. In my opinion, going to the store two, three times a day, just to buy a small loaf of bread each time is a waste of time and energy. Silly Europeans…or maybe that’s why they are all so dang skinny.