The freezer is now stocked with ice creme (eis). It's also called "softee" or "softeis".
I am realizing that yet another reason this trip is such an amazing opportunity is that I'm able to experience it, just a little bit, like a resident rather than a tourist.
I understand why my student who knew NO English, said to his ESL teacher, "No more English" and refused to work with her. I come back from being out and about and turn on International CNN just to hear English. Though it is British English with 'shedules' and constant coverage of Murdoch's hearings before Parliament.
So, let's take a look at shopping here.
First, the carriage.
To use a carriage, you have to put 1 Euro (like $1, only worth more) into the slot. That pushes the little lock out. When you're done shopping, you put your carriage back neatly, and use the key to push the Euro back out. So you get the money back. And there are no cart retrieval employees, or abandoned carts floating around.
(The Euro coins are like this: .01, .02, .10, .20, .50, 1, and 2. Quite frankly, it's a lot of stinkin' change to carry.)
You know what I haven't seen? At all? MACARONI AND CHEESE! I did find milk, but no skim milk, so I'm still out of luck there.
Here are some products.
Yeah, um...don't we call them "hamburger buns" after Hamburg, Germany? So why are they "American Buns"?
Plus, this county is all pork, all the time. So they really are HAMburgers.
I have no clue what these are. They were in the freezer case. Maybe a frosted cookie?
This is a bar table that you can buy at the grocery store. Not a card table, not a folding table. A bar table. I was at a restaurant last night where the menu was eight pages long. Only one page had food. They like to drink here.
When you check out, the cashiers are normally sitting and just sliding things across the scanner. You bag the groceries yourself, and you have to bring your own bags. If you don't bring a bag and you can't carry everything in your arms, you have to buy a bag. They start at .10 Euros.
So here I am, trying to pay with a card, and the non-English speaking person shows me her card screen, says "Visa" and shakes her head sympathetically no. I'm frantically digging through my copious amount of change and paltry selection of bills, and trying to put my card away. The men behind me are getting restless.
She was very kind, and tried to help me throw my groceries in the cart. I pulled the cart out of the way and bagged my items.
Before you leave, you pass a pork station (OK, it's like pork-a-palooza under heat lamps, schitzel, wieners, salami, pork patties, breaded pork patties, etc.) and a bakery. I figurde I deserved a couple of chocolate croissants for all that work, so I purchased them too.
To and from the grocery store, I passed this:
(Avert your eyes, Puritans! I couldn't. It was there for all to see.)
And also him:
Chuck Norris is everywhere. In random locations along buildings (they love posters and grafitti). On t-shirts: 16 pictures of him looking just like this with the caption: the 16 faces of Chuck Norris. He's WAY more popular here. Some sort of pop culture hero. I do not understand.