Which activity do you do when you go abroad?
Going see a famous architecture, learning history of the country in a museum, seeing exotic animals, walking along the beautiful beach, eating unique food and drinking a glass of local beer, catching unique pokemons and winning a local gym…
Well, one of my favorite activities is going to a local supermarket.
Every time when I go into a local supermarket for the first time, I am very excited. I am even more excited than going to a museum. There is no entrance fee (unless you buy anything), no limitation of time for stay (until closing time) and no lines (maybe sometimes the elderly cut in a line just prepare for that, guiris.)
Here are the 3 reasons why I like to go to a supermarket in a foreign country.
1. Every-fucking-thing is different
Literally. And this is the best part I guess. You will find something that you’ve never seen before, same kind of food as your country but with various local brands, different size, way of pack and display, music and announcement… etc. In my opinion, supermarket is a full-year entertainment. (Is it too exaggerated? Naahh.) They offer new products and seasonal food like every week. And you will never complete all of the products, which means you will never get bored!
Everything is new. Everyday you discover.
2. Find your stuff
If you live in a foreign country for long time, you might miss some stuffs which are only sold in your country. But on the other hand, it is possible that something new makes up for it. Personally I don’t really miss Japanese food (because something I miss is something I can’t cook by myself), but I have found many things I really love or which have come to be essential for my life here in Spain. For example, some delicious fruits that I had never seen in Japan (I still don’t know how it is called in Spanish though), dinosaur-shaped cookies for kids which I always bring to school, various kind of cheese, jamón serrano and fuet (smoked raw ham and sausage), canned olives, clara (beer with lemon juice, I’m totally in love with it!) and vanilla-smelling body wash. I am sure that I will miss those things when I go back to Japan.
These are some of my favorite things.
3. Feel inconvenience, get lost, try and have fun
This is a bit different point from the other two above. I don’t know if it’s only me or not, but the best part of an adventure is that having fear and having fun at the same time. Maybe I can also say, “anxiety is the key to pleasure.” (I love this kind of coexistence of feeling.) Okay, let me tell you my story.
The very first day of going to supermarket in Barcelona, I was really excited. I didn’t know what kind of food is typical here, which brand is good, how much the price is, blah blah blah. I was enjoying walking around the store, and then, I saw fruits and vegetables section. Cool, let’s buy some, but then I noticed… all the fruits and vegetable aren’t packed nor sealed their price on themselves. (Because in Japan many things are packed and each ones have a price stickers on it.) Oh no… I don’t know how to buy fruits. Heya, why does everyone break and pick some bananas from a bunch, is it okay to do that!? How they know how much are 3 apples only from the card saying “2 euro/ kg”!? I remember clearly that I was hanging around the fruits section for 10 minutes just to solve this mystery : how to buy fruits in Spain. However I didn’t ask anyone because I was a little shy and also I wanted to solve this riddle by myself. After 10 minutes of creeping, I finally noticed that everyone was taking fruits from a box, putting them in a plastic bag and putting it on a weird scale machine. I went near the machine and watched how people use it. (I think I seemed really strange.) You put it on the machine, choose the button of the fruits you picked and get the price sticker from the side of the machine.
(“This is how to buy fruits in Spain! I did it mom!! I can finally buy fucking bananas mom!!!”)
I felt like I discovered a new continent. If exist a game “Supermarket-Go (Spanish ver.)” from Nintendo, I think buying fruits in supermarket comes to one of its phases.
So, these are the 3 reason why I love supermarket in a foreign country.
Well, I’ve got to go buy some chocolates… See you next time guys!
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