Thursday, May 8, 2014

The supermarket

Hello :)

How is the week treating you guys? It's almost Friday!
This week I had to be home almost all week because there are people fixing water pipes in our building, which means I had broken tiles in my bathroom all week and a dusty home :(
Besides that, everything is alright I kinda had a week "off" because of that so I was able to get some things done!

Today I'll try to explain to you "Ausländer" what it means to go to the supermarket in Germany, because yes, it is an experience!

First of all there are two types of supermarkets you can go to: the regular ones or the discount supermarkets (like Aldi and Lidl). Of course the second one is a cheaper option but what shocked me is that even though it's cheaper the products are still high quality. Fresh fruits and vegetables and very good selections of cheese and chocolate...What I would say is different is the variation of products not only there are more products available in the regular supermarket but also more refined ones and a more extended line of bio products (what they call the organic products here).

After you're at your supermarket of choice, you can use one of the best things in Germany, the "pfand machine". It's a big machine where you will bring your empty glass or plastic bottles to and then get money back for them (usually aroung 8 cents for a glass beer bottle and 15-25 cents for the plastic ones). After you throw your bottles there, you get a little receipt which you can exchange for food or cash at the cashier. Not all bottles can be returned, usually you have to look for the recycling sign on them. The glass bottles and containers you can't return have to be taken to a big communal glass trash which you will find on many streets (you just have to find the nearest to your house). Usually there will be 3 big containers that are brown white or green and you throw your bottles in each of them according to the color.

To get a stroller at the supermarket you will need to put a coin in it first (50 cents to 2 euro coins are accepted) and that insures they will be returned to their place. Once in the supermarket people are objective and don't make any small talk! But what shocked me the most is: they are fisty about their place in the cashier line and if you and someone else are coming to a place in line at the same time they will run for it and not offer you the place so run faster!

Once your turn comes, get ready, the German cashiers are like trained robots and work as fast as you can think so my boyfriend taught me the German technique: put the heavy things first in line because you will bag them first (YES, YOU, no one will do it for you here!) and make sure you bring your own shopping bag, otherwise you will have to pay for them (usually 10 cents for each plastic bag). Right after she scans your item throw it rapidly in the bag like a true German and when she tells you the amount be ready to pay right away and get out of there otherwise be ready for death stares from the other people in line (I know it sounds extreme but it's true!).

So if you have had an experience at the German supermarket or have more to add to this post, let us know in your comments below!

See you guys next time! xoxoxo

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