There’s a lot of nice things in Europe.
I’ve been floating around over here for so long that I now have a different approach to seeing, experiencing, and comparing. Though I tend to enjoy every city I’ve been to, I can’t help comparing each city’s properties with my past experiences. Without meaning to, I now rarely compare a country or a city (or a cheese) to an American equivalent. I compare Amsterdam to Venice or Lisbon to Grenada. Comparing Europe to America like I did in the beginning of my trip makes a bit more sense.
Today I picked up some food for the next week here in Grenoble, France. I got some chicken, pork, pasta, potatoes, yellow peppers, sauces, and a loaf of bread with cheese to go with. It nearly filled the small red basket I picked up at the front of the small supermarket. Loading it all on the conveyor belt, I felt like I was buying the entire store compared to the¬†four people behind me. I had more than¬†their¬†groceries combined, and then some.
Most Europeans go to their supermarket once a day for their daily needs. They can get by only purchasing 4 items every day–it must be the strangest thing for Americans. I had completely forgotten how it’s done back home. Full carts are emptied into¬†massive minivan¬†trunks¬†for the drive home. Completely normal.
At least in European cities where local stores are nearby, you buy what you can carry back home and up the stairs, rarely more than¬†three bags full. If you’re the type who owns a car, you still wouldn’t drive it to just buy groceries. Cars are for trips, and the market is a daily foot affair.
Over here that means smaller fridges (think mini-fridge at that¬†cheap hotel), smaller energy bills, and more footin’ around which equates to less laziness, more daily human contact and exercise, and billions of other plusses.