...I suspect I may be the luckiest kid in the world

Friday, March 13, 2009

Shop Til You Drop (The Basket)

I was sent this morning with a list in hand to Migros.
Migros is one of the two main food supermarkets in Switzerland. The other is Co-Op.
All the items fit onto a post-it note and so I hoped to get it all in one quick sweep.
Not quite.
I forgot to get a trolley.
I realized this when I was already inside and the trolleys are outside.
Small list - I'll just use a basket.
After all, this was going to a quick shop. Quick shop - light basket, right?
I had to find special garbage bags - after searching high and low, I finally asked Shop Assistant #1.
Very helpful. Got the bags.
I had to find this certain type of spaghetti. Searched for a very long time as it was important that I got that brand.
Finally asked Shop Assistant #2.
Very helpful. Unfortunately, this brand only sold at Co-Op - the competition. Ouch.
I had to find beef mince. Searched everywhere. They have many places where meat might be.
Finally asked Shop Assistant #3.
He and Shop Assistant #4 conferred in German as to what I was looking for. First he told me that only the English have mince meat.
I must have looked confused. I was.
He pointed to big chunks of beef. But no mince. I told him my host mother had asked for packets of mince.
He brightened. And led me to - packets of mint! Herbs!
Finally I thought to mention mince for spaghetti bolognase.
And this was the clue that gave the game away. He showed me not only beef, but also pork and also something else which I wasn't too sure about. And a mixture of all 3!
He said he'd never heard of this being called mince. It looks a bit different to what we have at home, but it was definitely mince.
I heard him telling Shop Assistant #4 about my mince.
Very helpful.
When I finally had everything I lugged the basket to the checkout.
I wasn't using the handle anymore. I had put way too much in the basket and the handle didn't feel quite safe.
I put everything on the conveyor and separated the house shop from my personal purchases. Chocolate was on special! Ah.
Shop Assistant #5 seemed very confused with my separation. And she didn't understand English. And I have no clue with German.
Fortunately, the customer behind me understood me and translated.
Thank you, following customer!
45 minutes later I made it out.
The moral of this story:
Ask each of your questions to different Shop Assistants. Then none of them know just how clueless you really are.
And always grab a trolley.

In other news, I made ham & cheese & quark croissants for lunch. I still have no idea what quark actually is, but it's the glue that holds it all together.
They were good. As was the banana cake/bread that I made.
The girls told me the banana cake was the best they'd ever had and had too many pieces, and Pa was quite surprised when he knew that these were the first croissants that I had made.

Small Victories. Excellent croissants. Really good banana bread. And chocolate on special.


  1. Quarks are sub-atomic particles, that basically hold the universe together. Do they come in a jar over there?

  2. if this quark was white and tasting like diary product then probably you were introduced to Swiss curds :)

    I wonder how Australian feel in between all thosee narrow streets in Zurich : )