Thursday, June 14, 2012

Let's go shopping...for groceries

I've been saying it since before I even arrived in Germany, and I talk about it repeatedly. It's now time. I need to bite the bullet, put my money where my mouth is, grow some balls, be brave already... whatever your favorite cliche. The time has come for me to revert to shopping locally. By that, I don't mean, occasionally when I happen to walk into a store, or grabbing veggies from the market on Saturdays. What I mean is that the time has come for me to truly shop German and to stop complaining incessantly about the Commissary and the PX on our tiny little Post.

This has to sound absolutely ridiculous to all of you. Quite frankly, it sounds a bit nuts to me as well. Such a simple thing to end continuing frustration. All I can say is that habit and routine have a tendency to override any of the little bit of courage I might have in my bones to start shopping in the German supermarkets. Why, you ask, could this possibly be so intimidating, and I honestly do not have an answer for you. Perhaps it's the language or maybe the different foods and the labels that I am unable to understand, or maybe it's just that I already loathe the task of shopping for groceries that slipping into a habit and going American is just that much easier.

The closest grocery store to us is good for last minute emergencies, but it's not even close to being the best place to shop for food locally. I thought I might become one of those daily or frequent shoppers and use my bike like you see so many Germans doing here, yet that doesn't seem reasonable if you don't live in downtown in a larger city. The bakery, maybe, but not the other produce and staples. And quite frankly, the Commissary and the PX kind of suck here. It's a tiny Post, so they don't offer much at all. The Commissary is probably the smallest on all the Army posts, and once I got used to it, I started getting into a routine of what I liked to buy long as it was in stock, that is. The PX, we just won't even go there. And for those of you that have never heard of these words before, God bless you. You are a lucky soul to be clueless on this front. You can use them interchangeably as an American grocery store or a low-scale Kmart (maybe). Sometimes these stores are massive and they have everything your American heart could possible desire or miss from back home. Not the case here, unfortunately.

I'm starting to see that the weak link here though is me. An amazing opportunity is right in front of me to fold myself into this culture in every possible way. The resistance is confusing to me, and it's time to get over it. My shopping excursion this week was dreadful on Post, and I decided that was going to be the last time. There will still be an occasion now and again to pick up certain things, but overall, I'm done. This silly little girl is going to pull up her britches and get over whatever fear is taunting her. New routines will be established and my kitchen will be stocked with the deliciousness that this amazing country can provide. And believe you, me, they have some REALLY ridiculously good food here.

So, I realize this is something you really could probably care less about. Instead, I'm writing this blog to keep myself honest and to be sure I don't turn back. I'm hoping that in the not too distant future, you'll be reading a blog post from me about how German I feel I've become and that our pantry is stocked full of food with labels in a different language. Honestly, how cool would that be?

In the meantime, thanks for humoring me. Do you think shopping locally would intimidate you, too? I can't be completely alone on this, can I?

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