Part of the excitement of traveling is that daily tasks become opportunities for bravery. I slept through the school’s breakfast, so I walked to Cafe Veneti for coffee. Just saying, “espresso americano,” staring blankly at the cashier when she asked me something, then assuring her I had euros when she changed the bill to dollars, took a lot out of me. But I did it! I get to feel proud of myself for ordering coffee – what a world. Next door was a medium sized grocery store (apparently they get bigger the further you walk from the school).
Although a grocery store is a grocery store is a grocery store, there were some differences between shopping in Pikermi and running to Kroger in the United States.
The biggest difference is that I walked there! It’s just a block away, but I had to think about the amount of things I would buy. Without a car to fill with bags, I walked through the store with a basket on my arm. I figured whatever I could carry inside the store, I could carry back to the school.
Like I said, there’s not a lot of variety between grocery stores in the world. Like most, this one had aisles of packaged food products, and a few full of household goods toward the back of the store. And like most grocery stores, when you walk in, you are immediately confronted with colorful produce!
I tend to live off of avocados and eggs, so when I saw that avocados were 2,85 €, I was horrified. I bought one anyway, and happily discovered that the price advertised is per pound…or gram, or something. According to my receipt, my one avocado was ,97 €, which is much better.
It is a little disorienting trying to shop when everything is labeled in another language. Luckily, most foods have pictures on their packages. Even with that, there were some things I couldn’t figure out. Maybe I’ll buy some mystery foods another week.
In the end, I bought some fruit, soy milk, coffee, cereal, and a variety of plastic dishes for a total of 41,34 €. I have no idea if that’s a good deal or not, but this first week I’ll probably have to overshoot my budget just to fill in gaps of things I need.
Or maybe I’ll just go on a spending spree, because it is so much fun to go shopping in another country! Once again, a gift of traveling: mundane tasks become exciting.