Saturday, March 31, 2012

Going to the Supayr

Supermarket shopping in Israel - well, let me just say that the American Association of Psychologists or whatever they call themselves could literally have a whole week-long convention about the antics of Israelis in supermarkets.  Or in parking lots.  Oh.  Or anywhere.  Never mind.

Back to the Supayr.  Here are just some highlights:

1. Parking - person #1 decides that those lines mean nothing and takes up two whole spaces.  So person #2 parks next to him poorly.  And so on.  By 10 AM the entire lot is filled with cars parked at weird angles and taking up too much room.

2.  The Carts -
  • Locked! - Yes, the grocery carts here are locked together with a little lock thing.  You have to either put a 5 shekel piece in the lock or perhaps you have a grocery cart unlocking gadget.  I don't know what the stores are afraid of - am I going to shove the cart into my tiny little car and steal it?  We won't because they lean! [see bullet below]
  • Leaning! - Please, someone, explain to me why EVERY SINGLE shopping cart in EVERY SINGLE grocery store in Israel is incapable of being wheeled straight.  They all lean to the left.  ALL OF THEM.  What is that?  You actually see many people pushing their carts from the sides, not from the pushy handle thingy, because it is just easier.  I am not making this up.

3. The Pesach shopping - You know how Seven Mile Market starts stocking Pesach food by the time Shavuos is over (OK, I exaggerate but you know what I mean)?  Well, here, a country of Jews where everyone celebrates Pesach in some form or another, they start stocking a couple of weeks after Purim.  Yes, that's right.  Just last week I was at my little neighborhood grocery and they were discussing where to put the Pesach Shelf.  SHELF????  SMM has like a half store dedicated to Pesach!  And there is very little to choose from. I found a store on Beit Shemesh that had tomato sauce and I almost kissed the owner.

4. Kitniyos - just saying that it is tough to find Pesach food that does not have kitniyos in it.  Once in a while you see an email from the neighborhood list-serve and one of the postings is that someone has found a store where they are selling kitniyos-free margarine.  The news spreads like wildfire and within 5 minutes the store's mobbed and the margarine is gone.

5. Clubs - every single supermarket has a club.  Which means that if you belong to the club, you get the discounts and if you don't, well, you don't.  Problem is, some clubs cost money.  Hmmmmm....

7. Bagging - here, you have to bag your own groceries.  OK, that's not terrible.  But let's say you have a lot of stuff, you are not well practiced in bagging, and you have already paid.  You might think that the checker-outer person would help you bag your groceries to move things along.  Nope.  She sits there, arms folded over her chest, watching you struggle to pack your stuff and get out. 

8. Payments - every time you shop, the cashier asks you if you want to pay in tashlumim (payments).  It usually mean you can split up your bill and pay over 3 months or so - sounds good, right?  Sure.  Until you get your credit card bill and realize you've chosen "tashlumim" for lots of purchases and you have random little payments cropping up forever.

9. Hebrew - yes, this is Israel and everything is in Hebrew.  I know that. DUH.  But some of my most amusing purchases have been made becasue I misunderstood the Hebrew on the package:

  1. White cheese was purchased becasue I thought it was cottage cheese  I don't really know what white cheese is, since it is not cream cheese and it is not sour cream.
  2. Cheese - I just buy cheese, and I have no idea what kind it is.  The other day I found cheese called "amerikai"  and was so happy - let's hope it really is American Cheese.
  3. Pasta sale - one store had something which LOOKED like 3 for 1.  It was not.  Won't make that mistake again.  Maybe the sign actually said, "Buy one for the price of 3."
  4. Chicken and meat - I have yet to buy these from the butcher, to whom I would have to speak in Hebrew.  Instead I buy the frozen packages  I know, I know, eventually I'll have to do it.  It's like the gas station - eventually I'll get to it.
  5. Bananas - bananas here are the best anywhere.  I guarantee it. I know that has nothing to do with Hebrew, I just thought I'd throw that in.
Like everything else, it's slowly slowly.  In the meantime at least I can amuse all of you....

1 comment:

  1. חג שמח!
    Sorry, that's in Hebrew :)
    And g'vina levana is an item unto itself. Most people LOVE it. I have not acquired a taste for it.