Sunday, April 13, 2014

yesterday...le walmart français

There are 2 huge "open air" type of markets in downtown Toulouse that remind me of our beloved Seattle Pike Place market or Reading Terminal Market in Philly and of course there is the farmers market at Place du Capitole and a little "fresh market" every few blocks or so. But I know there will be items (household and grocery types) that I will not be able to get at any of those yesterday after we scoured the local flea market here in downtown Toulouse, DQ and I took the metro (the one he takes everyday to work) to a suburb called Balma, outside the city. This is where he works so he was helping me get comfortable with the trip so I can meet him after work once a week to do big time grocery shopping. The first thing we did after getting off the metro was eat at KFC. There was no coleslaw or biscuits or ice for drinks or lids for cups (because as I have mentioned before no one walks around with drinks to or cold) but it was still finger licking good! Better even than the states.

Then we walked across the highway to a big mall that had a super store ( that ran the whole length of the mall! Imagine super Walmart meets Costco. It was very Walmartish...people pushing and shoving (I got run over twice by other peoples carts) ...not an excusez-moi or merci or s'il vous plaît in the place (except by DQ and I)...screaming children...frazzled offerings etc. But right in the center of the mayhem is a long aisle of fresh, raw, stinky seafood and a long stinkier formage aisle and a HUGE wine selection.
I believe this white pile is dried fish.
There is also 2 aisles of yogurt! We have tried so many!! It is the best I have ever had!!

While this is the place I will be buying appliances and food and household goods I have never been so happy to leave a place. Altho, I need to add, the cashier was VERY kind and helpful and when she saw the deer in the headlights look on our faces as we were frantically trying to decide which H U G E line to get in to check out with our 8 items she came and got us and checked us out saving us about 40 minutes in line!

Anyway it was a side of France and French I have yet to have seen so it was a great learning experience. And after I get some more French under my belt I am sure I will be able to navigate these waters with more ease. Also there seemed to be some kind of system where you scan your items as you put them in the cart and give the cashier the scanner when you are ready to check out and it seemed to cut down on time and unloading and reloading the cart. That will take a lot more French to understand how that works. I have assigned DQ with the job of finding out about this system rom his French work gang. I'll keep ya posted.

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