Big City, Big Stores

Today was our first day of living in normalcy. We can sit on our couch and be surrounded by our things (our unpacked things that is). Ahh the warm fuzzy feeling of being encompassed with fluff and knick knacks:) To celebrate this special occasion we decided to get some real groceries from a familiar grocery store. Yes ladies and gentlemen I am talking about a SUPERSTORE! We traveled by train to get there, only to get off at the stop before the superstore stop, and then walked about eight city blocks to find the front doors to this monstrous building.

Its title was “The Real Canadian Superstore”, meaning that it was on a much bigger scale then our pitiful little “Real Atlantic Superstores”. Upon walking inside one was to question whether we had just walked into a Walmart or a grocery store. One whole half of the sore was general merchandise while the other half housed the groceries. There was a separate produce section for “special” (or different) veggies aimed at the multi cultural population of Calgary, and then there was your normal produce section for people from the east (who know only the main vegetables that have been in our lives since birth).

When discovering the meat section one had to be careful not to get lost. The “section” was like a store in itself. They had every kind of meat you could imagine there! The only meat I don’t think I saw there was Dog! While finding our way around the meat we discovered that this Superstore had a Sea World within its walls. There were live, swimming salmon, trout, and some other odd fishies that didn’t look at all apetizing. Then there were the live bar clams, live crabs, live lobsters, and live mussles. It might have been enjoyable to sit and watch these living creatures if it weren’t for the “Edward Scissorhands” behind the counter. It gave me a whole new outlook on fresh meat!

On our search for rice we discovered an entire isle devoted strictly to rice!! There were so many different brands of rice and so many different sizes of bags! There were some bags that reminded me of the largest bags of dog food a person could get. Then there was the scary b-b-q sauce that stood about three feet high and must have weighed about 10lbs. I mean I realize we are in a bigger city here, but is that really necessary? I managed to glimpse down the cereal isle and discovered that our Atlantic Superstore jumb products are not jumbo at all. In fact I saw one box of cereal (can’t recall the brand) that encased four bags of cereal in one box! If David and I ever have seven kids we will be sure to shop here:)

Getting around the store was as much a challenge as getting out (going through the checkouts). Getting around the store was a scramble to keep on your feet and change to the appropriate lane when necessary. If you failed to do this you would be cut off, sworn at in Japanese, and either pushed to the side or find yourself caught in the middle of an intersection. There was no time to get your bearings you just needed to keep moving. The enjoyment I used to get out of grocery shopping at my little Atlantic Superstore was quickly replaced with an odd urge to just scream at the top of my lungs and pull every hair on my head out.

After finally reaching the checkout one would imagine that a deep breath and a deep pocket would get this expererience over with; however, this was not the case. Before the cashier will ring you in you must first answer the skill testing question “would you like bags tonight?” What??? Of course we want bags, do we look like we are giant pockets? My confusion did nothing but hold up the line and make the cashier wonder if she was dealing with some sort of alien race. We were politely told (after we confirmed that we would be needing bags) that each bag cost 4 cents and we would be bagging them ourselves. If you thought we had chaos before, then you have no idea what it is like to be pushed along a checkout while trying to bag your groceries, pay the bill, and get the hell out of there. We were never so glad to leave a building in our lives! In fact our experience was so terrible that we have decided that we should make it a monthly ritual:)

Now that we are home (safe and sound) we can reflect on our outting. The prices were much more reasonable, thus making it worth our trouble to go out there once a month. The selection was much greater, therefore making it easier for me to try new recipies. And finally the chaos we are bound to experience there will briefly take our minds off any little problem we may be having at the time. Until next time, eat well and spend less!

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3 thoughts on “Big City, Big Stores

  1. Yeah, I found grocery stores were chaotic in Toronto, too. The whole paying for your bags thing was a shock to me. You have to pay for bags but they gave us cardboard boxes for free?!? OK, whatever. Urban grocery stores are just a madhouse.


  2. Great to hear from you guys! I actually wonder how many of your emails I missed…I found your website in my junk box!!!! (Hmmm…how DID that get there). I’m very ahppy to hear that you are doing well! I’ll be sure to hook up with you when I make my first trip down to Calgary.


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