Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Please don't touch

One of the hardest things for me when I moved here was doing my grocery shopping. I had to learn all the basics, how to buy meat (from the butcher), how to buy cheese (from the cheese guy), how to buy fruits and vegetables (from the fruits and vegetables guy), how to buy bread (from the french bakery, sorry, it's just better), but not just where to get all these things, that much was obvious. But how to ask. And how to ask so that I didn't look like I'd just gotten off my little spaceship. Part of the problem is that my spanish is really good, and from my accent most people don't know that I'm not from here, from the south say, or at least from some spanish speaking country. Which is great, except that it got me into a lot of trouble in the beginning, because then what the hell is my excuse for not knowing how to ask for ground beef? Mental deficiencies? But I digress. My point is, I've figured most of that out now. And some of it's wonderful. Like my neighborhood olive oil store.

Yup, that's it, it's tiny, but that's all they do. Sell olive oil. The guy's a little grumpy, and not too forthcoming with advice or recommendations, but if you keep on at it eventually he'll bark something out. Which I've come to appreciate as a spaniard being helpful.

On the other hand, it still cracks me up that you see stuff like this at the fruit stands:

Some grocery stores have boxes of plastic gloves in the produce section, because it's self-service, but god forbid you actually touch the fruit with your icky dirty germy bare hands. I'll try and get a photo of that up soon. Cracks me up cause this is hardly Switzerland. This is a country where when people have shrimp at the bars they peel them with their teeth and spit the skin and lil' legs and all onto the floor of the bar. And yes, you can smoke almost everywhere, but ashtrays are optional, toss 'em on the floor with your shrimp bits and your used up waxy napkins! But please, PLEASE, whatever you do... don't touch the fruit.


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