I love going grocery shopping—it is my favorite weekly chore! But that's only now that I am familiar with my local stores and know where to find some "speciality" items like popcorn kernels and chocolate chips, even if it means shopping online or going to a specialty store. When we first moved, it was a little overwhelming and anxiety-inducing to make a trip to the grocery store. I even wrote my first Toastmasters speech about it.
Once I learned the pattern of the grocery store, it became fun. I love meandering the aisles and seeing what still sticks out as unusual. Most things I've stopped noticing–eggs in the regular shelving, foil-topped yogurt containers, and unrefrigerated produce–but every so often something still sticks me as either clever or confusing. Rather than my regular format, I think I need to narrate through photos:
These are the standard carts that are available in most mid-sized grocery stores. In the mega grocery stores (only found inside shopping malls) will you find the full sized carts. Outside of those mega stores, though, aisles are really tiny, and even these two photographed options feel cumbersome in the cramped spaces. Also, I still struggle to smoothly unpack these types of carts at checkout.
Speaking of checkout, this is what it looks like- typically pretty tight with not a whole lot of space to set your stuff down (especially in photo #2). Baggers are not a thing, and it feels like a race trying to bag up your own goods without impeding on the flow of traffic behind you.
Dairy & Protein:
Like I said, eggs are never refrigerated, but what is even more peculiar to me is...
Dairy also surprised me at first. Virtually all dairy comes in plastic cups with foil lids, which makes it hard to re-seal afterwords. I have never seen a container of yogurt larger than the one pictured here (about 500 ml). There is refrigerated milk, but there is more variety in the non-refrigerated UHT (ultra pasteurized) cartons.
I'm not regularly in the meat aisle, but this is a pretty standard set in about half of the stores. However, the other half only have fresh raw meat behind a manned meat counter similar to...
I don't know how interesting this is, but tofu always comes in these vacuum packed squares, and when Cameron gets a meat treat it is often some sort of salami is a pretty loosely-packed plastic or paper sleeve.
Down the Aisle:
If it can't be found in the mega store, it probably can be found in a speciality store. I don't frequent them often, but I have found Indian and Hispanic food shops.
One of my favorite places is an underground high-end goods store. I can't afford most of it, but I often buy specialty sodas for Cameron here when I want to get him a treat.
More bags: for a while I could not find cocoa powder and Karob was the closest I could find. Chips and crackers are Cameron's snack of choice, but there aren't a lot of options. A few of the more interesting one's I've found are paprika (which is quite common), ketchups and these ones: mushroom tart.
Now for our vices. You can buy M&Ms but I've only found them in the mega stores and they are SUPER expensive (this bag costs the equivalent of ~$10). As far as alcohol, it is pretty cheap. The Soplica brand is very common for flavored liquors, vodka is the standard here, and I love this brand of Georgian wine. One thing I find interesting is that all alcohol has the paper seal over top that you can see on the wine bottle.