Thursday, November 09, 2006

Why isn't the customer ever right here?

Grocery Shopping

I just returned from Mega Image, our smallish grocery store, it's like Bi-lo in the states but without the Starbucks (sorry Pastor!). I was delighted to see green beans in the produce section. They were small and dark green, looking a lot like the ones we grow at home. I picked up a pack (they were already in a bag) and noticed that they were grown in Egypt. I took them to my friend, the produce lady.

First she tried to talk me out of the red and yellow bell peppers I had picked. They were 2 lei EACH! This amounts to about 70 cents. I couldn't begin to tell her how expensive produce in America. She just shook her head and printed my sticker, pointing again to the 4 lei price. I just smiled and nodded.

Next came the green beans. She didn't know how much they cost so she had to look it up. This took awhile since she really just wanted me to put them back. Finally I left the produce section, with a nice little sticker on my green beans with the price clearly labeled, and headed to the check out.

The green beans happen to be the last thing scanned. Nothing popped up on the screen, she tried again and still nothing. She asked me something I didn't catch and I told her I didn't understand. Then she asked me if they were in the fruita section. That I understood and said yes. She went back there. I'm not sure why since the price was ON THE BEANS! She came back without my green beans, shaking her head. I paid and left.

I don't get it. I wanted green beans, they had green beans. I had money, they take money. I had the price printed on the green beans, they had a cashier to put the prices in the register. I left without my green beans, they still have an entire display of "unbuyable" green beans. Maybe we are just supposed to "look" at them?

Word of Advice

Do not buy chips from the vendors on the street.

Yesterday as Maria and I were walking through a park on our way to the Romanian Cup to watch some of her teammates compete, we passed several stray dogs and sidewalk vendors selling snacks.

As we approached one of these vendors, a stray dog begin to cross in front of us. I was watching him since all these dogs make me a little nervous. He walked up to the chip display and starting sniffing. I assumed he was going to take the chips. The owner starting yelling and as he did the dog hiked up his leg and "marked" the chips! Then he turned around and "marked" them again! Now, I don't know this for sure, but I have every confidence this is a regular occurrence and those chips are still there, or worse, sold to some unsuspecting customer! Double YUCK!!!