29 April, 2016

Ordinary grocery shopping

Today's ordinary involved a shopping trip. A pretty average shopping trip, except that I went to two shops instead of my usual Friday-one.

After the checkout lady had totalled up my groceries at the first store I looked at what she'd done with my groceries and was amazed at the beauty. So many lovely patterns here. 

The process in this store is that you push your small (actually tiny, compared to Australia) trolley around and select your goods. These are 1L milk bottles sitting on the bottom of the trolley, so the trolley isn't deep. For you Aussies, I can usually pile up about three green-bags worth of goods in this trolley, I often end up putting things in the child seat.

When you're done, they transfer your goods directly from your trolley into another empty one while recording the price, no bench is involved. I'm amazed at how much time they spend arranging it "right" in the new trolley., especially considering it will only be in that trolley a couple of minutes before I put it into bags. Our family presents a not-so-usual challenge to the cashiers. Usual Japanese shoppers don't fill their trolleys so full because they shop daily or almost daily. I prefer to only shop twice a week, but that means my trolley gets pretty full by their standards and repacking it presents a challenge.

The next step is the shopper's. You then pack your goods into whatever receptacle you need to get it home. One reason I think that they don't pack into bags in Japan is that people get their groceries home in different ways. Some walk, some ride, some carry them, some even come by car. My first winter in Japan I dragged my groceries home over snow on a plastic sled with the rest in my backpack.

I can fit about three of these "green" bags on my bike. That's about half a week of groceries. If I'm buying tissues or toilet paper as well it usually gets hung off the handle of my bike.

It does seem a little redundant: me putting it in the trolley, the checkout lady packing it into the trolley, me packing it into bags, then packing it onto my bike. But I guess it works.

Here's my bike loaded after the first shop. The front basket is usually fuller than this, but due having to do some unusual shopping for my husband's work yesterday I did some shopping yesterday too.

Do you remember I wrote about trying to find a new handbag a few weeks ago? Well, last Friday I had the surreal experience of buying a shoulder bag via FB Messenger! A local friend happened upon a 50% off sale of Kipling bags and we spent half an hour via Messenger deciding on a bag that she then bought for me.

The bag and I are still getting acquainted. It has a couple of things that are in different places to my previous couple of bags, in addition to zips that go the opposite direction. But I'm figuring it out. It does have a nice number of pockets, though!

You can see here that it fits nicely in my basket.

I'm growing fond of this gorilla key ring that came attached to the bag. He's very cute and nice to fiddle with (anyone else have a fiddle-habit?).

Because I had some spare bike basket space and also freezer space, I rode a bit further to a shop where you can buy larger portions of meat (larger than 300g) for pretty reasonable prices. Here's my bike loaded up after shopping there. It was very much the case that I looked at how much space I had left and only bought that much.

No room for my shoulder bag now. Thankfully it has a long strap that goes cross-ways over my chest and therefore isn't hard to ride wearing it. 

See the Koala? It's a cute biscuit filled with soft chocolate that only seems available in Asia, not Australia (except in Asian stores there). That's a portable treat for the Track and Field meet we're going to tomorrow.

And finally home. Here is what I unloaded off my bike in our entry.

It's all a part of my ordinary day, but just a bit different to how I do groceries when I'm in Australia.

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