A trip to the market is nearly a daily or at least an every other day activity. The fridges are smaller here than they are in the USA and there are very few “quick prep” or frozen meals.Thus, we are at the market often buying fresh foods for our meals. This is a bonus, but it is quite a bit of work. Many times I see the same people at the store (Mercadona) each day.
My favorite time to go is in the evenings just before they close. It is not very crowded and I can get around quickly. Well, at least that is true everyday except Saturday evenings. You see, the grocery stores are closed on Sundays. In fact most things are closed on Sundays. So Saturday night is that last Scramble at the store to get all the food you need for the one day they are closed.
I am not sure why this happens and as someone with a degree in Psychology, you know I am soooo curious. Please tell me why there is the panic when you think or know you won’t have access to food for a day. It was the same in North Carolina at the mere mention of inclement weather. I remember going to the store on those days and everyone would have their carts loaded with extra milk, eggs and bread. We would always joke that everyone was going to make loads of french toast.
Well it isn’t much different here, except most people take the little hand carts and lug them around. Many people walk to the store, so they only purchase what they can hand carry home. We often use the little pull carts as well. Anya gets a kick out of them.
On occasion we will pay our Euro to get the big cart. I have to say, the little ones are much easier to control. The big ones aren’t like in the USA and only go forward and backward. NO! these go sideways and all over the place. At times, I feel it is a wrestling match to move it around a corner. You see you pay 1 Euro and that releases a chain…. then when you return the cart and re-insert the chain, your Euro is released. My guess is that this is how they get people to return their carts to the proper location. It is rare to see a stray cart sitting around.
Also, you pack your own groceries and bring your own bags. As you can see our handy dishwasher also leaves the house and becomes “Bag Man” at the grocery store. So this isn’t usually a problem, but for the first couple of weeks we kept forgetting to bring our bags! No biggie, we just had to pay for the plastic. It is still frustrating that we own 3 reusable bags and forget them! Now we have them near the door and sometime just leave them in the car.