Thursday, December 13, 2007

Grocery Shopping

Blog fodder for today...

I try so hard not to go to the grocery store in Poland during the Christmas season. It's just packed all the time, no matter what time of day you go. You shoppers know how you can lose several hours in a store and it seems like five minutes? In Auchan you can lose 1 1/2 hours and it feels like 3. Auchan is like a super Walmart, but reversed. There's about 3/4 of the store that is food and then 1/4 of the store is all that other stuff...clothes, housewares, electronics, DVDs. All the carts have (which are like this in every country in Europe, at least the ones I've been to) four wheels that turn (as opposed to the States, where only 2 of the wheels turn). This has got to be one of THE worst designs in history. All of the carts have some serious problems and they're all really hard to push. AND you have to pay to get a cart, 1 or 2 zloty, which is 50 cents to $1 (you get the money back when you return the cart). Like anyone would steal these carts that you can't push...they certainly wouldn't get very far.

The worst thing about the carts is that they appear to have a weight sensor on them. You don't know you have a bad cart (although you can assume that you do as they are all bad in some way) until you have loaded your milk and juice for a family of 6 in it. Then it twists and turns all the way down the aisle, forcing you to run over little old ladies (they probably deserved it) and small children. You make your way to the cashier and find that you have forgotten something and then decide that it is SO not worth it to traverse the store with a broken cart and a screaming chocolate covered baby (did I mention the part about how Blaise reached into the cart and took a bite of something, ANYTHING, while I wasn't looking?). You make your way out to the parking lot with the basket, and because it's Christmas time and everyone in the entire country is at this store, you had to park at the very end of the parking lot, which may as well be in the next town over. You've cleverly parked next to one of the cart returns because you've done this enough times that you know that you don't want to leave the baby in the car while you walk to the next town to take your cart back, so of course someone approaches you and asks if they can take the cart back for you. You say, in English that you don't speak Polish (a blatant lie) and they tell you in perfect English that they would like to take your cart back (which of course means they want to keep the money). You tell them, NO, I parked right next to the cart return so I could take my own cart back! and then feel like a bad person for not giving during the Christmas season.

On the way home you plan out the rest of your day and think about how you will take your run while the two youngest boys sleep, because when the alarm went off at 5:30 you didn't want to get up, because you were out til midnight last night at the WASTA (not affiliated with the Middle Eastern meaning) Christmas Party. You look in the back and see that the littlest one is sound asleep, exhausted from the screaming in Auchan. You back into the garage (and don't hit anything!) and pull the baby out of the car telling him that he is not allowed to sleep now because this will ruin your day! You put him in the living room and bring the groceries in only to find this:

At which point you give up.

Hope y'all have a great day!

ETA: I just read all the way down on the Wikipedia link for Auchan and there's a photo captioned "Mysiadlo, near Warsaw". The caption is incorrect, but that's my Auchan! That's the one I shop at and it should be in Piaseczno


  1. that is such a cute picture, I just love it when they're sacked out like that

  2. YOu used the word "run" in a strange context and I actually knew what you were talking about. I have recently befriended a very nice Irish woman with children Mai and Lily's age and I love the words she uses.
    See you soon!
    love, dawn

  3. another thing you have to love about Auchan...they run the massive zamboni like floor cleaners in the middle of the most crowded Saturday afternoon or holiday shopping and run over at least one innocent bystander in the process each time. Makes shopping sooo pleasant.


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