Purchasing the everyday essentials to feed, clothe, clean, and tend ourselves is an activity that we must attend to at least once per week. So learning the ins and outs of shopping is one of the first experiences when living in another country. One might think the experience in Britain to be essentially the same as in the USA. Not really!
First we do not drive off to the grocery store we would go to the grocer, or perhaps the supermarket. As I often do, one might walk to the butcher, green grocer, fish monger, or in general the shops. If one drives then one stops in the car park and collects a trolley for which one may be required to deposit a pound coin to release the chain attaching it to the next trolley. This trolley is no lumbering push cart but one of several designs all of which provide the features of the latest spinner luggage. Yes the trolleys will spin 360 degrees and move side to side in a flash. Sadly, even these spinning wonders can have a hinky wheel.
Once inside the Tesco, Aldi, ASDA, Sainsbury, Marks and Spencer, Morrisons or Waitrose it gets a bit tricky. Yes there is milk and bread and meat and well you know. But do not look for common items where you might find them in the USA or find them at all or by the names you know them by.
- Eggs will be found with the baking ingredients on the shelves not the cooler.
- Do NOT look for Miracle Whip. The closest thing is salad cream but not close enough.
- Ground meat is minced.
- Corn starch is corn flour
- Zucchini are courgettes
- Cheese is mature or not
- Cream is single, double, triple, fraiche, or clotted
- Chips are crisps
- Molasses is treacle
- Water is sparkling or still …. forget distilled
Well, you get the idea.
So, after wondering about looking for things that may not exist at least not by the name you know them by
- Roll the trolley to the front
- Select a queue for a till
- Place the items on the belt (the patient person will wait until you empty the trolley and need no assistance bagging before scanning a single item)
- Ready your bags (or purchase for 5 pence each)
- Enjoy being addressed as “My darling”, “My lovely”, or other kindly endearments
Questions, want more detail. Okay, more posts and perhaps a visit to the shops.