The ethnics of grocery shopping are interesting and somewhat different than in the U.S. Shoppers in Sweden turn the items they are buying with the bar code facing the scanner for the cashier. Then they put the divider bar after their last item for the next customer. The cashier rings up the item and pushes it down a sloping counter. When the customer finishes paying, he or she moves to the far end of the counter and begins bagging the goods him- or herself. The counter is divided with a movable wooden bar that the cashier slides one way or the other to form a section for the next shopper’s groceries. In this way, two shoppers can go through the bagging process simultaneously. When one finishes, the wooden divider is slid over and the next shopper’s groceries are slid down the counter.
To get a shopping cart you have to insert a 5 or 10 kronor coin into a slot in the cart and this pops out a small metal bar attached to a chain on the next cart in a line of carts that are all pushed together like you see in American supermarkets. When you are done shopping, you roll your cart into a line of empty carts, push the little metal bar into the device on the push bar of your cart and out pops your coin. It took us forever to figure this out the first time we used a cart. Mariette had never seen it when she lived her growing up.
Some foods are almost literally dirt cheap. I bought 11 pounds of potatoes today for $1.50 and a pint box of cherry tomatoes for 75 cents and a loaf of bread for 40 cents. Also, a pound of almonds for $3.75. Not even Trader Joe’s can match that. Most other produce is comparable to the U.S. Some stuff is more expensive, like yogurt. And cottage cheese is basically non-existent and the stuff you can find is inedibly chunky and dry. Yech. Meat is really high quality. And the fish, well, nothing can beat having a fish stand 400 meters from your house.
If you want to buy anything stronger than 3.5 beer you have to go to the state run alcohol store of which there is one in the entire city. (Alcohol used to be a big problem in Sweden and the legal limit is 0.02 or one quarter of what it is in the U.S. That basically amounts to one beer.)
On the other hand, I had a copy of a key made for our garage and it cost more than $12. For one key!
The water temperature is now a less than tepid 8 degrees centigrade which is about 45 F. Still we came upon an elderly couple going for a dip this afternoon. They are the two white dots in the photo.
Was hoping for a nice sunset but the overcast wiped it out for the most part.