Tuesday, 17 May 2011

I flippin' despise grocery shopping and that's swearing!*  I did go through a phase of popping into town daily just to pick up what was needed. I soon got fed up of lugging weighty swedes, delicate eggs and smelly fish around. I soon got fed up of being in town, it's an incredibly depressing place at times.
Online shopping was a godsend when my middle son was born. He cried all day every day for 6 months and every time we went shopping for nearly 3 years. I did miss the sensory experience of shopping, I like to fondle the fruits, admire the neon cleaning products with their promise to cleanse my soul ( I said admire, buying leads to depression when the magic wand effect is proven to be fruitless).   Middle son started school, youngest son stopped needing a nap, spontaneity became a new luxury for me. Forget the online delivery service, I don't want to have a 'slot' and wait for up to 2 hours for some whining driver to drop boxes of the wrong food onto my carpet.
The supermarket was sensory overload, I tried and failed. How I longed to live near a neat row of independent delicatessens, maybe ride home on my bike, wicker basket housing a baguette, some cheese and cured meat "here you go kids, it's mamma's take on Findus French Bread Pizza (again)".
My latest solution to the food-shop dilemma involves a popular German budget chain. I just love the ambience, it's like drifting through a silent dream. The store felt sedate, the staff were industrious, focussed, mute. The food all looked so familiar, yet totally alien at the same time.  I bought a swede the size of my head, simply because it was the size of my head. Asparagus was cheap, spinach was cheap, bananas-reasonable, cheeses, the trolley was nearly brimming in no time. I panicked about the meat,I always panic about meat, where the hell did it originate? Some of the packaging looked like a drawing you'd do in art class of a made up brand; amateur, lurid. Unease crept in slowly, the customers didn't look real, were they just robots used to make the place look popular? One guy looked like a mannequin, and his shopping was stacked so neatly, all in boxes, all in size order. Pristine clothes, polished face, he looked just like the 'after' version of some poor bloke who'd been styled on This Morning.
It didn't feel like shopping, it felt like being on holiday and just grabbing anything which looked edible, "let's try this cereal, it looks like something budgies would go nuts for". I know, I am very unfashionably late to the German supermarket scene. I have always shunned these shops thinking they just sold convenience foods, the odd bottle of mediocre wine and a so-so range of sausages.
I conclude, shopping for planned items does not work for me, I like surprises. I like charity shops, TK Maxx, Independent shops, and supermarkets I have never visited before.

Next week-mum goes to Iceland?

* one of 'Mrs Brady, Old Lady' (s) favourite quotes, Viz


  1. Im with you on living for the surprises on shopping. Did chuckle over your head sized swede. You post makes me want to visit said supermarket and go fruit fondling ;o) Scarlett x

  2. The older I get, the less I seem to enjoy supermarket shopping. Although I love going at a certain time of night just as they reduce the yellow stickered food down to 1p...you never know what you'll get so we've come home with all sorts of weird and wonderful things to try! x

  3. I’ve NEVER liked food shopping and now I’m retired I wriggle out of it as much as I can - apparently I take too long anyway:) You are so lucky with that swede; here in Lanzarote there is no such vegetable. Mind you we have more types of sweet potato than we knew existed. Shopping here is seasonal (like UK in the olden days) so you see it, you buy it. However, last year a budget German supermarket chain broke through the island’s red tape- Hurrah (and it’s right next to Ikea).

  4. I love going to the supermarket! I'm a bargain hunter so always head straight for the reduced section. It makes me try out new foods.

    I've been inspired by this post to take some pictures at my local supermarket. Korean food ranges from the intriguing to the disgusting, I think you'd find shopping here fascinating.

    Glad you liked the vids I posted.

  5. I actually love Aldi and Lidl. My advice is to never buy their homage goods, like knockoff Snickers and stuff, but their fruit and veg are great.
    You should totally grab a pair of Zara jeans - I have a feeling I will get a lot of wear outta these!

  6. Lidl - 'crusti croc' crinkle crisps. That is all. They are the reason I put on half a stone when I go to my parents' house. There always seems to be an open bag for snacking on after dinner in front of the telly.

  7. Oh do send on a pic of your new C&A buy! £2 - you can't go wrong!

  8. I am so with you on this topic. I have phases of doing online grocery shopping, then the pop down to the local shops (but find they all start to recognise me and I panic!), back to going to the supermarket, send OH out to do it etc. I also agree with the German supermarket, its clean, sedate and like shopping abroad 'Love it!


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