Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Shopping is fun when the language is almost your own
The girls posed on the Millenium Bridge, which crosses the Thames right near the Tate Modern museum. The bridge is pedestrian-only, and is a suspension bridge with its cables mostly hidden underneath, which makes it nice, because you don't have a ton of cables and railings obstructing the view.
Want to go on a fun scavenger hunt? Go grocery shopping in another country! I've been having great fun figuring out the items on my list. We are shopping very frequently, because we don't have a car. The "big" grocery store is about 3/4 of a mile from the apartment; the little one is about 1/2 mile away. Last night, I decided to make some lasagna - it's a family favorite, and I have made it so many times that I know the recipe by heart. One of the things that I need is tomato paste. Check the aisle with the canned tomatoes - lots of chopped tomatoes, which I also need. But no sign of tomato paste. Hmm. Look around a bit, then see that there are more tomato items on the other side of the aisle. Still no tomato paste. Restort to looking at can sizes. Aha! There are some tiny cans. They're labeled "double concentrated tomato puree". Maybe? Buy them, figuring that they'll do even if they're not quite right. Get home and open them, and see that they're exactly perfect. Another shopping victory! And yes, the lasagna was excellent. Our other shopping fun this week was Bandaids. We scoured Poundland - like the dollar store back home, but twice as expensive. We searched the correct aisle and just started reading packages since we had no idea what they would be called. Mystery solved. Bandaids = plasters.
It's very interesting to experience everyday life in another country. Here in England, things are just familiar enough to be comfortable, but just different enough to leave us slightly off balance most of the time. I have long admired Kimberly and her family for being up to the challenge of life in China. I'm very grateful for a (sort of) common language during our adventures!