One thing that used to be the most fun* in the world was going grocery shopping in Korea**. There was always so much to discover! Were there going to be any new "western" foods in this time? Would I be able to figure out which package of noodles wouldn’t burn my face off? What would a tube of toothpaste with a pine cone on it taste like? So many adventures! And the really big stores, like Lotte Mart and Emart had the added excitement of the world’s most ridiculous clothing sections.***
I remember the first time that I went to Lotte Mart. I was so excited to find Kit Kats that I bought all of them. And a jar of peanut butter (which I am fairly meh about) simply because I recognised it as food. I spent hours in there just looking around. And even after I had lived in Korea for a long time, it was still interesting to make new discoveries, try mysterious new foods, and toss out a bunch of shite that wasn’t actually digestable.
The grocery stores here aren’t that exciting. It is Britain. And they are fairly serious and bland**** about their food. Furthermore*****, all the packages are in English (albeit******in "British English" which is a whole new animal for me), and I mostly understand what the food is about.
There are things that make me smile…. like that they can have an entire section of the store that is just for "Pies". I’m not joking. These people will eat anything in a pie. It is kind of cute (until they put liver in a pie: not cute at all). There is also beer in every store, which is pretty darned handy. There’s beer in Korean stores too, but only shitty beer. England has some very nice beer. And it is in the grocery store.
There was something the other week though that made me nearly wee right there in the bakery department. The staff at Waitrose probably think I’m a nutter. Well, I got it in my head that I would like some nice English muffins to toast and eat with some butter for breakfast. So I headed over to the bakery department. And guess what? They are just called "muffins" over here. I don’t know now why that struck me as so funny (although it did at the time) because it doesn’t sound as funny now. Perhaps it was the fact that they were sitting beside the crumpets. That’s right – crumpets. I thought that was a food Dr. Seuss made up to rhyme with "trumpets", I didn’t know it was a real food. Well, it is… and nothing gave me greater pleasure than having tea and crumpets when I got home from the store.
*Granted, a really effed-up version of fun
**Especially with Amelia
***Best find ever: the skin-coloured foot thongs
****Do not ever allow a British person to tell you that something is "spicy". They are lying. They have no idea what the word actually means. These are people who shut down transit if a slight wind blows.
*****Another great word, but not as good as "nonetheless".
******Another great word! Better than "furthermore" but not as good as "nonetheless".