Sunday, September 2, 2007

Of Pui and Peste


Here’s a funny thing. I was determined to take you to the grocery store this week. I thought we’d get a good chuckle over all the foreign foods, the cans of exotic unknowns with names and legends in Polish, or Russian or Turkish, or, of course, Romanian.

What a nice alien adventure to bring you along on, I thought. I even brought the camera.

Well, guess what. It wasn’t so foreign after all. Maybe because I’ve been in this particular market a few times before. Or maybe my Romanian has picked up enough. Or maybe I just am becoming accustomed to my new surroundings and adapting.

It no longer seems strange to me that milk comes in a box.

Or that people lug eight-to-a-dozen 2 liter bottles of water up three flights of stairs once or twice a week.

Or that the produce is weighed in Kg’s instead of Lb’s.

People in funny hats don’t look strange to me any more. They just look like their ears were cold.

I took the pictures anyway.

Now don’t get me wrong. I LOOOVE foreign grocery stores. I see it as a way to see how the people in any given country really live. And what they call their chicken. And how they offer their daily bread. Here the chicken is called “Carne de Passere” Which means Meat of Bird, or “Pui” which means, well, “tastes just like chicken” I suppose.

And just to explain the title, “Peste” (Pesh-tay) is fish.

But the thing is, now I live here too. So going to the grocery store is also about buying a small frying pan to cook my morning eggs with until my ton of household goods arrives from its landing in Belgium and is trucked cross Europe. And figuring out which dog food is made with carne de passere and which is made from, well carne de caine (dog) or cal (horse). And not being shocked at what they sent over from Norway in the fish section. It’s about picking up toothpaste, and fruit juice and paper towels and toilet paper and salt. It’s not a junket any more, just another ordinary day at the grocery store now.

How disappointing. I suppose now I’ll have to go to Uzbekistan or Tasmania to get back the adrenalin rush. Or tackle something else as my weekly personal challenge. Like ordering a pizza.

Think I’ll just go make myself a CRAP sandwich, turn on the Hallmark Channel, and wonder what I ever thought was so foreign about living here. (Oh, yeah, CRAP is a spread of CARP (peste) roe, or caviar, made with white creamy cheese. Delish.)

Have a good Sunday. Mine’s nearly over, and the salt mines, er, interesting, well-paying, fabulously exciting, consulting job beckons in the morning.

La Revedere.


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