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October 04, 2007


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Thats very interesting, Simona. I like when you take us to Italy with you and explain common tasks like this. I only saw the change for the cart routine once here in the states (I believe it was in the mid west) and it irritated me because I didn't have a quarter.


An amusing story and laughable as I share your frustrations when I shop at a Greek supermarket...who has all the euro coins anyways?

Lori Lynn at Taste With The Eyes

I sometimes worry that here in the US with the cash register calculating the change, it might not be a good thing, as it prevents the young cashier from exercising her brain. And I know what you mean, as I have seen that puzzled look when giving extra coin to round out the purchase, too.


You know, I had to learn eveyone of these steps all by myself and usually looked like the biggest dumbbell in the supermercado-it is very similar in France,too~I love the idea of the Euro plugged into the carts~it gets them back in place and ready for other shoppers.This is wonderful info to pass on to the readers who have not had the pleasant experience of looking like an idiot tourist~where were you when I needed this years ago! Be safe and have fun~Ciao


Buongiorno Simona! ^_^
You made me laugh with your supermercato's adventures! I must say that it is not just an Italian thing. Also here in Holland, where I live for 5 years now, they just do the same!
Even worst, they hate coins and big bankonotes (let's say 200 euro, 500 euro), so in most of the shops (not only groceries) you'll see by the cashier a little sticker which informs you that the shop will make a round figure of the totals to the 5 cents and that they don't have change for big banknotes.
To be honest, I also find the little coins of 1 and 2 cents useless.
I never use them. They just fill the wallet making it heavier and heavier.

Anyway, I hope you're having a very pleasant stay in our Bella Italia! ^_=
^.^ kusje


Thanks everybody for your comments. I hope you'll find these tidbits useful. Certain things Italians take for granted can be quite puzzling for foreigners. I am planning to talk about a few more while I am here.
The rounding to the nearest 5 cents is something I have noticed too, fabdo. I am having a nice time, though, as usual, I am not getting enough sleep: so much to do, so little time ^.^

Great Big Vegetable Challenge

I am not scared off - far from it. I am enticed!


I do the same in the U.S. - and, as the cashiers can't actually count change, they are then clueless and have to refuse. Here in France the cashiers politely wait until the customer has bagged their groceries and is walking away before they say 'good bye' to that one and then turn and greet the next in line... and you don't dare encroach....


I'm OK with bagging my own groceries. More often than not, the cashier puts the raw meat in with the salad greens, or dumps heavy cans on the bread and eggs. Funny post, Simona. I can see how bemused or irritated one could be depending on perspective.

Simona Carini

Thanks Charlotte and welcome.

Hi Katie. I wish everybody behaved like you describe when waiting in line at the cash register.

Hi Susan. I like to bag my groceries for the same reason, so I can arrange things in a rational way.

Susan from Food Blogga

Oh, what a entertaining post this is, Simone! I just left a market in Little Italy, where among other things, I purchased prosciutto for my husband and ricotta! I didn't do the labeling or the bagging, but I did wait in line for about 30 minutes at the deli counter. At least there were some old men talking animatedly in Italian (not that I understand them) which kept me amused.


Fare la Spesa. Love it. It's one of my favorite activities when in a foreign country, and I've done my share in Italy. Great post.

sandi @ the whistlestop cafe

One of my favorite things is to wander around the local grocery store. That is where I find a lot of gifts for friends at home~ beats a t-shirt.

Simona Carini

I really agree with your purchases, Susan: I am sure listening to the Italian men was entertaining.

Thanks Kevin.

I think that is a great idea, Sandi: I also like to buy edible gifts.


Thanks for this post about shopping in Italy. (As you can see, I'm catching up on your posts!)

I don't know that many cashiers in the U.S. could even make change anymore, since the advent of the machine that calculates it for us. Except at the farmers' markets, of course -- they still have to do it the old-fashioned way.

Simona Carini

Hi Lisa. I have noticed that sometimes the cashier gets confused if I try to use some coins to adjust the change. I prefer the old-fashioned way of using your brain: another reason why I like shopping at the farmers' market.


Do they still have the little plastic gloves available for picking out your produce?

Simona Carini

Hello Melanie. Indeed they do. I am planning to talk about that and a couple of other related things in a future post.

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