It’s amazing how different supermarkets can be in different places. You’d think they’d be the same everywhere, but the French hypermarkets are a completely different world to Dutch smaller supermarkets, which can be only a bit bigger than corner shops. There at least five supermarkets that we can easily walk to from our house, and another two that I know of that are a little bit further afield. And I’m sure that there are more that I don’t know of. They’re designed for people going by bike, so aren’t going to buy loads at once, and who go frequently, to make sure that they have fresh bread and milk when needed. And they change around what they have more frequently than in the UK.
For some reason I have a mental stereotype of a European housewife (specifically French) who is terribly picky about the fresh fruit and vegetables she buys. Whether from the market or the supermarket. But here it’s something you need to do. I’m not quite sure what the difference is in the UK, but for example I never checked my bag of apples there in case there was a bad one in it. Yet here I do. And with everything else. Though overall the quality of the fruit and veg is probably better. (It should be – most of it is grown here!)
The supermarkets also give out lots of freebies. I’m forever collecting tokens or stickers for something or other: spinning tops, magic tricks, space and dinosaur sticker collections, collect stickers for discounted knives, crockery, saucepans, towels, hotel stays, theme park tickets… The list goes on!
NB Photo is from the market next to Las Ramblas in Barcelona, from a holiday before we had children.