* Note: sorry the pictures look weird. I don't understand. Oh well!
So one of the first times I realized my reverse-culture shock was about four years ago on a grocery shopping trip with my mom. I remember it vividly.
It was summertime. We were going to pick up a few things at a lovely grocery store. Once we conquered the produce section, mom gave me a task. Go to the deli counter and pick up some ham or turkey for sandwiches. Sounds simple enough, right? WRONG!
I walked over to the counter, already pre-rehearsing my "Script" for ordering lunch meat, just like I would do in Panama. I arrived at the meat counter that stretched for miles. Picking out turkey or ham was not as simple as it sounded. There were 97,000 different kinds of meats to choose from, never mind the number of cheeses. I remember walking along the never-ending glass displays and reading all of the little signs. Honey, maple, glazed, smoked, stuffed, roasted, honey-roasted - how many choices could their be? And that was just the turkey! Mom eventually found me and I still had not chosen any meat. She had to bail me out.
I've learned to shut myself off so often when grocery shopping in the states because the variety of choices is overwhelming. Stick to the list, get what I need, look at some options for fun, and don't focus on the 47 varieties of mustards (or insert any type of item).
On my most recent trip to the states (ie: baby trip!), my sister and I went grocery shopping. It was lots of fun to go with her. We used LOADS of coupons and I think I annoyed her by the incessant, "I can't believe how cheap this is!"
One of the things I love most (food wise) berries! They are crazy expensive in Panama! While $2.99 isn't cheap in the states, it is WAY less than a small container of strawberries here!
Look at their beautiful red delicious-ness!
(It's ok, remember that pineapple is delicious and cheap here in Panama. pep talk to self)
So while I do enjoy grocery shopping in the states, the fun adventure of grocery shopping tonight with four friends is also fun! There are so many things here that are in season and affordable that wouldn't be in the states.
I should do a grocery shopping experience here sometime. Hmmm... maybe the next time major shopping is on the agenda.