I have to admit the first time I went grocery shopping here I was terrified. I don't know why, I studied in Italy when I was 21 for six weeks and never had a problem. The grocery stores by our apartment are small, really small. It is pretty entertaining watching me trying to maneuver a double stroller through it. We barely fit and when they are restocking the shelves it is kind of rough especially when one of your toddlers keeps trying to pull things from the shelves. We can actually use the single stroller for Conley and Auburn walks, but it helpful to have the double stroller to carry groceries home. Yes, I carry all of my groceries home, well my stroller does. Because of this I am at the store usually 4-5 times a week and more if I need to stock up on things. I just feel grateful that there is an elevator in our building and that I don't have to carry my groceries and children up four flights of stairs, only one. For some reason you have to climb up a few stairs to get to the elevator.
You have to bag your own groceries here. I am actually okay with that, but the cashiers go SO fast that you can barely keep up. I feel like it is a race for them. They don't wait for you to finish packing up your stuff before the next customer, they just push it aside and keep going. You can almost sometimes feel the impatience building from the customers behind you. At first it was so stressful for me, but I have a little system and simply don't care if I take a few extra minutes. I have two little kids, sometimes we just take a little bit longer to do things.
I have had a hard time finding some things and other things just don't exist here, like vanilla extract and chocolate chips. The brown sugar tastes different. The first time I made cookies they were just a little off. For some reason tortillas are ridiculously expensive which was an adjustment for us considering that we ate them all the time in the states. I have learned to make a lot of things from scratch which has been so good for me and healthier. Some of my recipes from the states simply don't taste good here. It is interesting the foods that you miss when you don't have it. They have delicious chocolate here, but I still find myself craving peanut butter cups and york peppermint patties. I can get peanut butter here, but it isn't the same. On the other hand my children have come to love brezen (big soft pretzels). I feel like everywhere we go kids are munching on them. The dairy products here are simply delicious, especially the yogurt. I have tried a few new German recipes, some are keepers. One of my favorite desserts here has ingredients that you can't get in the states. I have come to love vinegar based potato salad in all different varieties. The one thing that I don't think we will ever be big consumers of sausage like most of Germany.