Saturday, March 3, 2007

Shopping blues

Good news! Styrofoam goes in the yellow sack! I got up this morning, albeit quite late-ish, and felt overwhelmed by German hygiene standards, and shopping routines. There was that Styrofoam that goes in the sack but has to be broken into minuscule pieces first and there's the chicken carcass that has to be frozen because that bin does not get emptied for another fortnight.......and perhaps I will just stop banging on about it, now to bang on about shopping!
I guess I'm still tackling the everyday shopping like I would back in Australia. I was an enthusiastic advocate for Homeshop, it was so much more enjoyable to shop online and then hang around to have it delivered right into the house all without having to leave the keyboard. I could make a massive order and should a natural or man made disaster hit, we could hole up in the house for a year and live off the supplies.
It's very different here, hunger hits and I realize if we are to eat, I'll have to descend those damn 6 flights of stairs and venture to the local Plus store. I know I sound incredibly lazy but here's the deal. Plus is about the size of a postage stamp, it's difficult to manoeuvre the pram around, the kids think it's just another play area with food. I come out of that joint every time with tense shoulders and guilt that I couldn't pay with the exact money. There's an art to buying groceries here, you pack them yourself at the checkout, you need to be quick and able to count out the exact change at the same time so as not to inconvenience anyone. Maybe I'm paranoid but I feel disapproval emanating from all sides in a shopping type environment.
I guess when in Germany I should follow the Local's lead. Although there are big shopping centres here, people shop there with an apologetic air, there is such a strong culture of buying from smaller specialist shops. Want meat? Go to your butcher, buy fruit and vegies from the Market, buy potatoes from the potato shop (I'm not kidding!) Unfortunately, that type of shopping really requires a bit of daily planning, not really my strong point. The thing is, I hadn't realized before how consumerism driven our society really is. We want it all in the same place,we want a thousand choices and we want to shop 24/7. Believe it or not the shops are closed on Sundays. I had to wean myself off Sunday shopping when I first got here. Shopping is entertainment, but as a result we do work incredibly hard and long in Australia for our shopping privileges. I think people here really value the activities they do with friends and family on non shopping days, they live for a simple walk in the fields as much as they do for a new widescreen. Our equivalent of a family stroll is to first drive the 4wd to Chadstone and spend Sunday traipsing the mall. Having said all that, as a family, we are planning on taking the bus to Holland this Sunday for- heavenly pleasure- Sunday shopping! (But only on the first Sunday of the month.)

Now, you may be wondering why I have posted a photo of the Lego version of the Interceptor from Star Wars. While I'm away, I decided I would do something creative everyday. I've been crocheting, writing and drawing but yesterday DS needed my urgent help to put this baby together. He did a great job with the starting pieces, and with the more difficult parts, I found the pieces and he really studied the instruction booklet and managed quite a bit of it on his own. However, he began to tire after a couple of hours so I took over and I was so pleased with my finished piece! Lego is so satisfying! I'm saving up a little nugget of information that I will share with DS when he comes of age, but I'll share it with you now- You can actually have a career making lifesize Lego sculptures! What a wonderful World we live in! A little later in the day, I did actually do some drawing, which are shown above.


Felicity said...

Welcome to EDM Deb! Hope to see more of your lovely portraits! I can relate to your shopping experience as I live in Geneva and now we have no car. So I have to go out a lot instead of loading up the car once a week but also here there isn't the culture of loading up and everything is in small packages! I don't speak the language either, that's frustrating, but fortunately my two boys are teenagers now so I don't feel I need to go out and meet other Mums. Hope things improve for you - it just takes so long doesn't it?!

phthaloblu said...

Welcome to EDM! Looking forward to following your journey and good to hear you are drawing again. Have to tell you, LEGO is just cool! My sons have both been fanatics since they were quite small and they're in their teens now.

aPugsLife said...

Hi! I'm so glad you shared the link to your blog on the Everyday Matters yahoo group! I love looking at other people's artwork, but especially I love hearing about what it is like in other countries. I love when people share that kind of thing. I am in the US, in Florida, and I just really enjoy hearing about how things are different all around the world. :)

Kristin Saegaert said...

Thanks for sharing your beautiful drawings! Love the portraits and the others as well. Looking forward to seeing more. Thanks also for sharing your experiences. I too left drawing after childhood and now love to draw once again - right beside my children who are just beginning to love to draw too! I hope you can find someone to do a sketch crawl with.