Gotta run to the grocery store
I've noticed that I've been blogging more about books than about Poland. I've been reading too many lit blogs, perhaps? I really like lit blogs and I really like books and reading, but I don't want my blog to be exclusively about those things. I want to write about living in Poland.
This is how it is. When I'm not living in Poland, I think about Poland a lot, and about what it's like, and I miss it.
When I'm living in Poland, I'm just living in Poland. I forget that the things I do and see are not typical, and that I wanted to use this blog to share a little bit of what it's like to live here.
So I went to the grocery store. When I first came to Poland, they didn't have large western-style stores anywhere, but now they do. They are so similar to the stores I shopped in while I was in the states that I really have to think about what would seem odd to a visitor. These things might catch your attention:
The products are priced in Polish złoty, of course. The meat is weighed by the kilogram, not the pound. The cereal is packaged in cellophane bags instead of boxes (and they are a real pain in the neck to store and use, too). Make sure you have your produce weighed and priced in that department before you check out, because the cashiers do not have scales. Turkey is cut up and sold the same way chicken is, so you can buy turkey legs, turkey thighs, turkey wings, and boneless, skinless turkey breast. There are more pork products than any other kind of meat. None of the beef is cut into a recognizable form except the hamburger. In the meat department, you can buy beef kidneys, hearts and liver, AND pork kidneys, hearts, and liver. And chicken feet. Jello comes in flavors like gooseberry and apricot. If you want plain apple juice or plain orange juice, you are really going to have to hunt on the shelves among the boxes (one- or two-liter sized, of course) of black current and carrot-raspberry juice. Eggs are brown. You can look high and low, but you will not be able to find brown sugar or chocolate chips. You will find little paper packets of baking powder and "vanilla sugar." Flour and sugar and rice are sold in one-kilogram bags (only 2.3 pounds). The large fish/sea-food section sells live carp.
Okay, when I really think about it, shopping here is a bit of a different experience than it is in America. I still fill my cart full of groceries, wait in line for the cashier to scan my purchases, and wince at the total.