Friday, July 8, 2011

Grocery shopping in a foreign language

I think the biggest no-brainer money saving tip when traveling is you don't eat out. You buy groceries and cook. That's all well and good when you travel within the US and it's pretty standard to have a mini fridge in your room, or maybe even a kitchenette. But in Europe it's not so standard, unless you have an expensive hotel, or rent an apartment. So when bill and I were in Ibiza a few years ago, and the dollars to euro ratio was horrendous- like $1.65 to 1€ horrendous- we started buying things we could make a picnic out of on the beach. As I mentioned before, the beaches in Croatia are all rocks so there's no worry about getting sand in your food which is nice. But buying the food? Difficult. At least in German we know what the words for pig, cow, and chicken are. But in hrvatska? Forget it. I have no idea what anything is. Obviously we saw that salami is salami, but the cheese was a little more difficult. They have a variety of milk products all in the dairy section and it's hard to distinguish what they are when you don't know the word for milk, or yogurt, or a milk/yogurt drink. Or if it's butter, or a weird spread, or if it's actually cheese. And the people in the store don't speak English. So we kind of just stand there for a long time looking at the dairy section and picking things up, putting them back, making funny faces and sometimes we just guess. We had a horrific incident today when we got home and discovered we bought some sort of creamed chicken pate thing that was absolutely disgusting. But the lunch in this particular picture was delicious. Creamy cheese, no idea what kind but it was good, some sliced meat thing and fresh bread. All on the beach with the Adriatic waves coming up to our feet-and nooooo sand! Which is awesome.
Also here are a couple things we have noticed about this place:

All the men wear speedos. No exceptions. Bill is the only guy on the beach in shorts

There's no litter anywhere

Because the beach is rocky these people are well equipped with water shoes, and these foam mats that they lie out on

For some inexplicable reason people dress their children exactly the same even though they aren't twins

There's an unusually high number of amputees. I'm assuming, by looking at their age, that they are casualties of the war in the 90's.

I'm not sure if I'm up on the very latest trends since I left the fashion industry all of 1 month ago, but navy and white sailor stripes are EVERYWHERE DAHLING, EVERYWHERE!


  1. Dear Bill & Claire
    When in a foreign country the language that you cannot speak all you have to do is remember is WWLLD. On Bills Ipad isn't there someway you can have the language translated from English to the country your in? As far as having a picnic on he beach with all the rock I would like to know how did you balance the food on the rocks.
    that's about it

  2. I vote for Rox and Bagels~