Groceries and Beer

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It’s funny the things that seem surprising when you’re staying in a foreign country, especially those countries where you have to carry out everyday chores, like banking or groceries. 

In both Denmark and Japan, I had a cartoon character on my ATM card. Maybe it’s just me, but Felix the Cat doesn’t seem to be related to sound fiscal management. In Taiwan, we were constantly shocked by — among other things — the English profanity that managed to show up in everyday situations. You know that Cee Lo Green song that has been changed to “Forget You” for radio play in most countries? In Taiwan, we wouldn’t have been surprised to hear the original blaring across the speakers at the grocery store.

So here’s one of those interesting facts about Portugal

A couple of days ago, we were grocery shopping at the Intermarché grocery store in São Brás de Alportel. As we stood in the checkout line, we faced the in-house cafe — many grocery stores here have cafes with basic items, like coffee and pastry, and they’re reasonably popular among shoppers. Anyway, we noticed a man enjoying a bottle of beer, which got us pretty excited. I mean, can you imagine stopping at the Safeway to pick up a few groceries, and then hanging around to enjoy a bottle of beer before heading home? It just wouldn’t happen, and we left laughing at what a ridiculous set-up it was.

Well…today we succumbed to temptation. We had a beer at the grocery store.

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And it was pretty damn good.

6 thoughts on “Groceries and Beer”

    1. Ha ha! Hard not to be happy when you manage to pick-up Cheerios and have a beer all at the same place. Talk about convenience…

  1. Reminds us of Pulp Fiction. Of Vincent Vega explaining to Jules Winnfield about the subtle differences between Europe and the States. Let’s cut to the paste: “Well, you can walk into a movie theater in Amsterdam and buy a beer. And I don’t mean just like in no paper cup; I’m talking about a glass of beer. And in Paris, you can buy a beer at McDonald’s.”

    1. Ha ha…that’s such a good reference. That’s exactly what it’s like. Now I need to go watch that movie again. So good

  2. Next time you’re in the US hit Barnes and Noble for a Starbucks coffee or Target for the same.
    Try Whole Foods (or if in Texas, try Central Market) – beer, wine, a restaurant, cooking classes (not just a demo) and of course, live music all while you shop.

    1. Whoa! I can’t believe it took me so long to approve this comment – sorry for the fail! I’ve heard that Whole Foods has some boozy options, but I had no idea about the others. A glass of wine at a bookstore sounds nice though!

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