Oct 14 2012
Is not something I have ever really experienced-although I go through the motions a lot. The better term is that experience a "domestic routine" that for the most part, I actually loathe-and most certainly do not understand the inability of the S.O. to get done during the week while I am at work.
Of she does take care of the house-it is always clean and the laundry is always done and hanging up. But getting shopping done? Not chance-primarily because her innate selfishness prevents her from spending the money I give her to do these things. She would rather scheme for some way to get me to do the shopping ( with her of course) and thus I end up paying for the things we have bought. It is really starting to chafe me more than just a bunch.
Nonetheless, I thought there might be some merit in recording some of the domestic comings and goings we do, for the purpose of highlighting the similarities and differences between shopping here and Shopping back in Shopping Mall USA.
The first thing one needs to understand about where we live, is that unlike in the US, Sundays generally mean stores are closed. Just about everything is closed on a Sunday in a way that makes the old blue laws that I experienced growing up in Pittsburgh look tame. I don't know if that is just a Schwabian thing (the old name for Baden Wurttemberg) or if it is German wide. Regardless it is a factor that has to be dealt with. So Saturdays become huge shopping days-because there is no time during the week. Because my job is tied to the vagaries of the whims of people in DC, I stay later than I care too.
When we get stuck doing it-a typical shopping day for us consists of: First a big breakfast together. Weekends are our only chance to do so-and we take advantage of it. Usually eggs , ham, cereal, bread ( German bread is so much better than that in America) after which I retreat with my coffee to the computer. She, in turn, starts her frenzy of cleaning. Its not that it is needed-but it will create a great disturbance in the force if she does not do it.
Once done-we set off in the trusty "wagon" . Normally we have three places to go: Real ( the German equivalent of Wal Mart) , Bruniger Land, and then a stop at the commissary.
First always is Real. We go in through the getrankt markt and deposit the empty remains of the previous week's beer drinking and our wine bottles. They have these really cool machines that take the bottles in and even take a case in through the bottom. Through them you get your Pfand back. ( the deposit). After which we enter the getrankt markt and get the "beer of the week". The only problem is that when we do, normally its the 0.5 liter bottles and the S.o seems to think I drink too much when one gets those. ( Probably she is right-but who is going to leave an opened beer to waste? I ask you, who? The forces of right are on my side.).
Then its into the main store. Real has a little bit of everything-just like Walmart. Appliances, bicycles, clothes, and groceries. If I am lucky we can head straight to the groceries. If not-well, I wait.
Then to the bread section-their selection of fresh bread is usually just great. In doing so I usually pass the butcher counter-where they serve fresh hot Flesichkase on brotchen. ( Sausage loaf on bread with mustard-its a treat). Some times if I am in the mood, I get in the line and get one. Which I then proceed to munch on while going up and down the aisles.
Usually then its to the vegetable place ( gemuse in German) to get some specifics. Sometimes you can get vegetables cheaper here than at the commissary.
After which we proceed to the wine section. Which is huge. They have a great selection of German wines and since we live so close to France-a lot of French ones too. Personally, I don't like the German wines so much-I don't think they have any body to them. The French ones I have found, are on the whole, better. We have also been able to buy some good South African wines, as well as good wines from Portugal and Spain for a decent price. We even got some wine from Macedonia-although I wouldn't recommend them.
At this point it usually a straight shot to the check out-where I encounter that spawn of the devil-self check out. Rather than interact with Germans, the S.O. prefers to deal with the machine. Which would be fine-save for the fact that inevitably the machine says we have not bagged something-and so it is I-with my poor spoken German-who has to deal with the service personnel. I'd rather go through the line and let them ring it up. The money is still the same.
Once we get done with that nonsense-its out to the car we go. And on ward to other adventures. But I won't bore you with those just now. I'll save them for another time.