So Sanjay went back to work today, and I was faced with the fact that we are actually living here now. This is not a vacation and we needed groceries. As I mentioned before Easter is a big deal here, so no grocery stores have been open the last two days. We had some left over pizza, pasta, eggs, and salami, which meant I was going to the store.
I’m not really sure what I was expecting. I guess I assumed it would be similar enough to the US that I would figure it out. Wrong! It all looks similar at first. You start in the produce, which thankfully is pretty self explanatory, but then it gets a little dicey.
Most of you know that I am a pretty health conscious person and this added a whole different level to my confusion. I decided we needed some yogurt for breakfast. I like Greek yogurt, so I searched through their large selection looking for labels with Greek architecture and higher than normal amounts of protein (once I figured out what the word for protein was) I was easily able to find the kids yogurt pouches, so I was feeling ok at this point. Then I tried to get some meat, however; it was so early that the butcher was not fully open. I decided to try my luck with some pre-packaged meat only to find out that they really didn’t have any. People here go to the butcher and I get the impression that they only get a couple days worth of groceries. After several laps, I decided on a small package of pork chops and coming back another day when I could go to the butcher counter.
Next was oatmeal and cereal. I really just wanted some plain old Cheerios, but that was not happening. I don’t think there was one box of cereal in the aisle that was not basically candy, so I bailed on the cereal. After looking up the German word for oatmeal I was able to find that pretty easily. Peanut butter toast sounded like a good breakfast/snack. Only problem they didn’t really have peanut butter. I found one jar literally called “American Peanut Butter.” This label was in English and the second ingredient was sugar, so I’m going to have to figure out the whole peanut butter thing because this American does not like sugar in her peanut butter.
Feeling overwhelmed I decided to hit the snack section and see what little things I could find to nibble on and then get out of there. I found some pretzels and something similar to Pop Chips and headed for the check out. I was behind a woman buying 7, yes 7, packs of cigarettes. Smoking is still a big thing here. Anyway, it was my turn and everything seemed to be going ok, but I realized no one was going to pack my groceries. I went over and started to fill up my clothe bags, but was definitely not fast enough. I just started throwing everything into our little carrying cart and ran for the door. I was so relieved to be out of there even though it was raining outside.
I’m sure next time will be better, but right then I was just happy to be done. I was able to secure all the ingredients for Mac N’ Cheese, so all is right with the world.