Monday, April 8, 2013

G ~ Grocery Stores


These are the continuing adventures of a Swedish immigrant during her first year as an American. She boldly went where she'd never gone before...please come along on Adventures in America.

I was overwhelmed with the number of grocery stores we had to choose from in America, and with the choices in those stores.

In Sweden, there were small stores all over the place that sold the basics, and if you're a Swede, that would be all you'd need because at least as of 1996, they're still not selling much pre-made, throw in the microwave or oven stuff. In the town square of our little town was a larger grocery store with more choices, and it stocked cleaning supplies, paper products, etc. In downtown Gothenburg there was a mega-store. Not a Sam's or Costco, because it wasn't buy in bulk, just HUGE and with better prices. We'd make a trek there every once in a while, and it was a grand adventure we looked forward to.

My first trip to a grocery store after we moved was with Grandma Vivian, and she had me pick out some ice-cream. Yes, that is funny. Read B if you don't know why. I stood over that ice-cream cooler for a long time, looking at the packages. Some of the ice-cream came in beautiful, crystal dishes with pedestals, some came in bowls, some came with all kinds of toppings and some came with a whole bunch of people who'd come over and eat that ice-cream with you. I chose the crystal. It had orange sherbet in it, which I thought I might like, but what I really wanted was that crystal goblet thing to eat my ice-cream in.

Imagine my disappointment when we get home and I get to open the ice-cream (without having lunch of course) and there are NO CRYSTAL GOBLETS.

Grandma, where are the goblets?”
What in the world are you talking about?”
On the front of the package it shows them, see?”
Oh honey, that's just a “serving suggestion” see the writing here?”

Such was my introduction to those two important words...

36 comments:

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tina .. the naivety of youth! Oh I too would have been so disappointed .. I wonder if you got a 'crystal' bowl for a present later on?!

Shops do vary so much .. and the changes and availability of foods in different countries and towns/cities ... twenty years could have made a lot of catching up - after all we have Ikea now ... is it in the States?

Cheers and have a great week - Hilary

Jeremy [Retro] said...

all the best... i hope the world is treating you right... if not kick it in the goblets.

Sidonie Helena said...

ha awwh that's so sweet. Just shows how much of a good imagination you have if you thought the 'crystal goblets' came with the ice cream!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Batteries not included...

Brian Miller said...

and the misleading ways of american advertising...smiles....grocery store would go under F for me...fetal position.

bethlapinsatozblog said...

Hi,

Just returned from Stockholm, where I discovered a Coop in the basement of the train station. There, I purchased food for breakfast and lunches during my visit. I loved it!

Beth
http://bethlapinsatozblog.wordpress.com

Sue McPeak said...

Yep, those two words have been the downfall of many a promising product. Thank goodness there WERE a few products that packaged what they promised...Oatmeal, DUZ and CrackerJacks. I chose Crystal, too.
Thanks for this post and the prize you always provide...GoodRead Goblets!
Sue CollectInTexasGal
AtoZ LoneStar Quilting Bee

Jo said...

I had the same reaction to the grocery stores in Canada. At the time there was nothing like it in Britain, I couldn't believe all this food available and I still don't know what they do with it all because they can't possibly sell it.

Hilary, yes Ikea is over here in both the States and Canada.


JO ON FOOD, MY TRAVELS AND A SCENT OF CHOCOLATE

JoJo said...

LOL!!!! I always chuckle at the 'serving suggestion' words on packaging as well. I always wonder if some irate customer called the crouton company and asked why there was no lettuce in the bag, like the picture on the package. lol

Matthew MacNish said...

Hah! Your poor little innocence, all gone in one moment.

Wendy H said...

I think my most comparable memory is when those surprises that came in breakfast cereal didn't look anything like the picture seemed to indicate...expecting something durable and it was cardboard.

Great post!

Wendy H said...

I think my most comparable memory is when those surprises that came in breakfast cereal didn't look anything like the picture seemed to indicate...expecting something durable and it was cardboard.

Great post!

blueflute said...

Love your childhood perspective of moving to America. I will definitely visit again to follow your adventure. It brings up some of my own childhood memories.



Cynthia (The Sock Zone)

blueflute said...

Love your childhood perspective of moving to America. I will definitely visit again to follow your adventure. It brings up some of my own childhood memories.



Cynthia (The Sock Zone)

Cynthia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andrea said...

Ooooh, orange sherbet was my favorite as a kid. I remember going to one place that would not put it in a cone (let alone a goblet!)

Nancy Weeks said...

I love your post. When my hubby and I moved back to the States from Germany after a 5 year stay, I remember trying to pick out a stick of gum. Never felt so overwhelm. There were at least 25 different kinds. I couldn't decide on one so I just left the store. In the car, my hubby asked for a piece. I looked at him and said, "They didn't have our brand." A little lie, but there was no way I would admit that the gum aisle ran me out of the grocery store. LOL

Kim Van Sickler said...

We do take our grocery stores for granted. It's hard to find a food you can't get in some of the bigger ones. And I think all American kids learn that packaging is deceitful at a young age. It is a heart-breaker.

Ryan Naylor said...

Oh, that hurts. What a bummer. Too bad most people don't heed 'serving suggestions' any how ;o)

Rusty Webb said...

I think if it's on the box, it should be included in the package too. I'm with you on that one.

KT Did said...

LOL! I think its so interesting on how packaging can fool people. Hope you got your goblets in any case.

KaTy Did at: Life's Ride As I See It
A-Z Challenge

Ornery's Wife said...

Aww. I always thought those serving suggestions were great, but really never could make my servings look like them! :)

Happy G day!
tm

Lucy said...

What a great story, and funny how US,Americans just don't get US. Oh, by the way,I still get caught off guard by the packaging LOL. (It took me a while to figure out how to find your blog, I am so slow on the up take or a dunce,whatever word you want to use) Dropping by from the AtoZ Challenge Lucy from Lucy's Reality

The Desert Rocks said...

What a cute, cute story!

Sunni said...

Yes, we Americans have so much and never realize it. Advertising on boxes can also be misleading to someone who has never seen that before and is expecting something totally different.

I enjoyed your post. I am visiting you from the A to Z challenge.

Sunni

http://sunni-survivinglife.blogspot.com/

Andrew Leon said...

I'm the author of Shadow Spinner for which Rusty is doing the covers. I've been releasing it serially, and he has done several covers for the serial releases. You can find out more about the book on my blog:
http://strangepegs.blogspot.com/

L. Diane Wolfe said...

One of the singles in our former singles group at church was in the Peace Corps in Honduras, and she talked about the same thing. Eight hours on a bus to a store with next to no choices. Her first trip back to the US, she was overwhelmed by the choices.

Banker Chick said...

No Truth in advertising
Katie atBankerchick Scratchings

ayjay said...

Aww your G post was way better than mine lol..

How adorable! I remember having trouble with the 'serving suggestion' thing too. Funny things we learn as kids.

Samantha Jones said...

That was a really cute ending! We all have those "there's-no-hot-guy-feeding-me-yogurt-from-the-container" moments:)
WriterlySam

Linda Fischer said...

Tina, I love this story! It sounds like something I would do!
Thanks for visiting my blog. I really appreciate it.
L

Rowena said...

Ha ha, just popping in as a fellow a-z blogger. I know what you mean about supermarkets, I've just moved to the US from the UK. We had big stores and little shops in the UK but here in CA there just seems to be lots of big supermarkets and so much choice. Everything is massive! Not sure whether I will get used to it.

http://designsbyrow.blogspot.com/

Amy "Lyre" Turner said...

LOL I had the opposite experience living on a military base abroad - I went from amazing grocery stores to the commissary, whose selection was significantly more limited.

I'd forgotten how big stores were until we came back to the states and was totally overwhelmed!

Thanks for a great post.
Lyre at Lyre's Musings

M said...

I grew up in a place where we'd go to the market every afternoon to get fresh things for dinner. Very different from having to buy enough for a week at a time! But I'm used to it now.

~MPL
http://pepperwords.com

Cassmob (Pauleen) said...

I love your stories of life as an immigrant child but how scary must that accident have been.

Pauleen at Tropical Territory
A to Z 2013

House Revivals said...

That is funny! My friend's mother had a similar experience after moving here from Germany. Her husband (a southern boy) wanted fried chicken. After three trips to the store, my friend's mother was in tears. None of the round cartons she purchased had fried chicken -- instead they all held a strange greasy white substance. Crisco!