Tuesday, January 3, 2012

At the corner grocery store

I spend a lot of time grocery shopping.  Mostly because we live out of a cooler and I have to buy ice every day, but even so, I'd be at the store once a week anyway.  This means I have gotten to experience the entertaining world of foreign shopping in a more local environment.

Shopping in the U.S. was pretty easy.  While the stores were too big and it could take a while to find everything, at least you knew it was there.  (Except melba toast and green olives, items conspicuously absent between Virginia and Georgia.  Don't ask me why.)

Once we reached Mexico, it was time for a vocabulary lesson.  Now I looked for azucar and harina instead of sugar and flour.  And the stores were smaller, and the cheese was bland, but altogether, it was regular ol' grocery shopping.

Not so in Colombia.

Never have I been so annoyed with myself for not keeping my camera handy at all times.  While the yuckiest thing I've seen - a slowly liquefying ham that I watched sag for a full six weeks past its expiry date - was in Roatan, Cartagena is simply fun.

Take for example the meat aisle.  One of the more popular brands of lunchmeats is called Cunit.  Except that "I" is kind of tucked under the "T".  And I can tell you, I did a double-take the first time I saw a wall-sized display of cunit meat products.  That sort of thing can take a girl by surprise.

You might want to make that "I" a little bit bigger.
Sometimes surprising things show up.  On Christmas eve, I found a proper German Stollen crammed onto a shelf in the sugar aisle in our local store.  Only one.  There was no price marker on the shelf, and I couldn't find another one anywhere in the store.  Erik and his parents were delighted, and pronounced it excellent.  Our little Christmas miracle.

But the thing I truly wish I had a photo of are the eggs.  Yes, the eggs.  because here, my friends, companies do not put "the prize in the box" in cereal.  They put it with the eggs.  So far, I've seen Cars 2 eggs, with an actual car included, and, my personal favourite, Pirates of the Caribbean eggs, featuring decorative eyepatches and bandanas.  The boxes were so enticing!  Ridiculously expensive, but I was barely able to say no to those prize-eggs.

Next time, dear readers.  Next time, I'll get you a photo of fancy eggs, even if I have to go back to the boat to get my camera.


eleanor said...

Happy New Year Amy, Eric and the girls from GYB !

Anonymous said...

Ah yes,different strokes for different folks. We can hardly wait to see the pictures.
Love Mom

Kate said...

Thanks for another good laugh. Happy New Year.

Love Kate