Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Shopping The Billa

I don't like grocery shopping at home, but I could hardly breathe at the BILLA down the street. First of all, mayonnaise comes in a tube like toothpaste. I pick up that tube and think, doesn't anyone here eat potato salad? Milk comes in one litre boxes and is whole milk. Butter comes in a square. What part of a pound is a square? Bread is uncut. I haven't really seen a classic loaf of bread. It is all rounded, covered with pumpkin seed or some other nut or seed. White bread is twisted into odd shapes. No packaged "grated" cheese. I bought some cheddar for a recipe. It must be like a fourth of a pounds. More leeks than onions.

"People shop every day. They don't store up for three weeks like Americans do," Tom tells me.

I like that, actually. I don't plan well for more than one day at a time, anyway. The store is just down the street, a three minute walk. I can adjust to the small packaging of flour, sugar, almost everything. Its like buying a cup at a time. It's like living in Miniature Land.

In America, they're always trying to sell you more than you need. Packaged hamburger, for example is always a little more than a pound, never less.

I can get used to this.


Sarah said...

I'm not sure how I would feel about shopping like that. I don't store up for three weeks, just one, although I find myself wishing the fresh foods would last longer. We run out of bananas and deli turkey way too soon.

Louie just waved his pointed finger up and down at your picture saying, "Gramma! Gramma! See? Gramma!"

Angie Larkin said...

I just ate that up. I love to travel, but I don't so I just ate that up. I watched "Last Chance Harvey" on Mother's day and it made me want to walk by the river and take writing class in London. Your post made me want to buy small food and look small by tall doors:) Love reading your adventures.

Ann said...

I kinda do shop every day, actually. I started when I had a lot of teenagers at my house. When I'd go to Costco they would pretty much eat EVERYTHING I bought in one day (their friends helped). So I started shopping at 8th Ave Market for only the things I needed.

I'm still doing it, even though 8th Ave is gone now. I may change back--whereas shopping every day used to be cheaper, it's now getting expensive because I buy crap I don't need.

Wow. That was a boring response. Sorry.

Jason Merrell said...

The European shopper in me has had to do some serious meditating when shopping at the Parthmark next to my apartment in Harlem. Every trip is daunting because people there seem to shop in preparation for the apocalypse! At any given time of day every single check-out line is backed up with carts and carts filled sky-high with goods. I have to do yoga breathing while waiting to purchase my hand-full of items to keep from wigging out. If I can, I usually try to shop other places not so close by.

Richardson's B.L.A.H.S. said...

I'm not sure I could shop like that at this time in my life (with kids) but I think I would love it later!! How wonderful!

Marcia said...

if I could get there in a three minute walk, you betcha I'd shop every day! I'd have one of those old lady shopping carts, the wire ones that are deep and kinda tall. Maybe I'd whistle while I walked there. I'm not cool enough to own an iPod.