It is. When I lived in Germany, I shopped at a few different types of stores for food. An Aldi’s trip was for a 2-3 day fill up. a Toom trip was a larger grocery store where you could also buy pots and pans and clothes and lots more food. And lastly, the mom and pop store where you were NOT allowed to touch the fruit or veggie you wanted, you just took what they gave you and were thankful. Even if there was mold on it.
While reading this article posted above, think of me…as I was one of those Americans who realized very quickly I was to be bagging my own groceries, paying for those bags, and doing it schnell (fast). And yes, I had to put the equivalent of a quarter in the cart in order to rent it during my shopping experience, which was supposed to entice me to put it back where it came from so the quarter would pop back out for me.
I loved to buck the system, though, and make some person’s day by taking my cart back to its proper place, but leaving the quarter in there, you know, paying it forward, all 25 pfennigs worth.
Also think of me when they talk about getting yelled at for doing something wrong. I once reached for a milk that had a later expiration date on it as my family hardly drinks any milk. Holy crap, did I get hollered at from a woman who came racing down the aisle at me with her cart.
So now that we have a Trader Joe’s here in our area, I don’t have to go experience it – been there, done that. But it’s an interesting little history lesson, nonetheless.
Viper Tongue and I were talking about buying Christmas gifts for people who don’t need anything – how we might rather just give to some organization that gives to the needy.
Me: I need something
Me: A waistline; see if they have them on Amazon.com
VT: I found your waistline, it’s at the gym, do you want a one month membership or a year?
I love getting them. And I know how much work and effort and thought goes into each one I receive. But each year Christmas in my house becomes less and less, which makes me thankful for my new daughter-in-law being with us for a portion of it now in addition to my own kids. I don’t send cards anymore as my funny bone is still broken except when I’m in NYC with Libbylicious and doing a few other things.
Plus, these dang-blasted migraines are winning. So here’s one of my old (and last?) Christmas cards I sent out. For over 20 years we had a family picture I sent out with our fake dog, Spot, included. This was the first year everyone decided they were not going to be compliant in my funny card capers. :(
So I dressed up in my gown and strappy rhinestone shoes, carried Spot, and traipsed through the snow-filled parking lot in the nearest mall in search of Santa. Found him. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to those who celebrate anything else!