Oh, I know I’ll probably get some emails from concerned peeps that Dane will now be a smoker. Sigh. I can’t even say I disagree. I can tell you that I grew up with fake cigarettes, and was the coolest, candy-smokingest, kid in my 5th grade class at Almaden Elementary school in San Jose, CA, and I’m not a smoker. Never have been, never will be.
We are constantly, and I mean: Every. Single. Time. Finding new stuff at the German grocery stores. It’s just a cornucopia of never-ending hidden treasures. This week Tess found the bubble gum cigarettes in our little corner grocer up the street. The absolute joy she radiated compared like nothing to Dane’s total thrill at “smoking”. These puppies don’t just look good, they produced real smoke! If you puff, rather than inhale, a little, um, puff of smoke comes out the end. Smokes are the bribe du-jour at the Westberry household. Chores have been done to perfection, and in a very timely manner, all week. Just for the hopes of another €.50 pack of smokes. Hey, I don’t agree, but I’m using it as a teaching tool. In the meantime, my house looks spic & span. Win-win.
On Saturday, due to our dire vehicle situation, I had to shop at a new-to-me grocery store. I’m always thrilled at the opportunity to explore strange, new worlds. Especially grocery stores. This time I found delicious hams from Italy, a new kind of mushroom, and some awesome wine. I also got flummoxed in the fresh produce section. These are always a little tricky in Germany. Each store has it’s own little system, all a little different. I, however, thought I knew them all. With complete confidence I picked up my first eggplant, strode over to the scale, went to push the handy-dandy, weigh-me, price-me button… and no picture of an eggplant!
Not just no picture of an eggplant, but no pictures period. Plus no not-so handy-dandy words. Befuddled I look around & asked the nearest friendly-looking lady for help. Ah! Turns out this store, this system, was purely number based. Back to the eggplant I went. 16. Back to the weigh-me, price-me. €25 for one eggplant. Obviously wrong, and a little defeated, I shuffled back to the eggplant. It still said 16. Back to the weigh-me, price-me. €25. Sigh. I needed more help. This time I bothered a store employee.
The 16 was some kind of inspection number. The real number was down underneath, on the rim of the display case. Back to the weigh-me, price-me. €.78. That I can live with! Finally understanding the new system, I started picking & bagging my produce. Only realizing at the end of the aisle, when I’d normally weigh it all, that I couldn’t remember a single number. Back to the banana’s I went. To the weigh-me, price-me. To the apples. To the weigh-me, price-me. Let me tell you, I got a little exercise during Saturdays shopping.
Like I’ve said again & again, there’s a lot of stuff I absolutely love about Germany. But it is not without it’s challenges.