31 March 2011

America vs. Europe - Grocery Store Edition

Dogs are theoretically forbidden
from Austrian grocery stores.
A recent trip inspired me to point out some of the more comical differences:

-Whereas American supermarkets are known for hiding the milk in the back of the store to make you walk past all of their other offerings, Austrian grocery stores are more likely to apply this principle to beer and wine.

-American grocery stores usually provide free and limitless shopping carts, while Austrian stores usually require a small deposit for each cart, presumably to discourage theft, although I think that anyone who really wants a shopping cart is willing to pay €.50 for it.  (Tip: Austrian shopping cart dispensers also take American coins!)

-America: 168 open hours per week. Austria: 72.  See: Gemütlichkeit.

-Produce in Austrian grocery stores often needs to weighed and labelled by the customer - a task that I think many Americans would be incapable of.  I myself have gotten majorly scolded for forgetting.

-Supermarkets in America often provide customers with free bagging service.  The lack of such a service in Austria has surely destroyed a potential job market for teenagers, ex-cons, retirees and other qualification-impaired individuals.

-Peanut butter here is 100% more expensive and you get weird looks for buying it.

And for today's German lesson, I'd like to point out how amusing it is that the names of German meals can also be used as verbs, which is certainly not the case in English.  Thus, das Frühstück is "breakfast" and frühstücken is "to breakfast."

1 comment:

  1. austrians would probably give you weirder looks if they saw you eating the peanut butter out of the jar with a spoon.