13 January 2007

Saturday at the Migros

I thought Ikea was a scary place on a Saturday. I was wrong. Ikea ain't nuthin'!

For scary, just go down to the local grocery store. Too much stuff packed into too small of a space with very narrow aisles and mobs of people welding shopping carts who will suddenly stop in the middle of your way to chat with each other.

Add to that your own long list of things to purchase and a list of words in German that you should be looking for and it all adds up to an unpleasant experience with shades of claustophobia.

I never much cared for grocery shopping in the United States. Just one of those "get it out of the way activities." And we generally shopped on weekends, when it was busier. But in the United States most grocery stores are open 24 hours a day and on both Saturday and Sunday.

Imagine taking all of those shoppers from Saturday morning through Sunday evening and squeezing them into an 8-hour period. 'Cause the local grocery stores here are only open from 8 am - 4 pm on Saturdays and closed on Sundays.

Grocery shopping is now a mid-week activity. Preferably in the morning when there are very few people.


jillnachtman said...

Amen! Just back from Coop and stood in line for over a half hour just to check out. My husband takes lunch to work on Monday, so Saturday shopping is necessary to get the fresh meat and bread. Unless you want to take your chances at the Hauptbanhof grocery stores at the train station on Sunday...that's even crazier!!

Global Librarian said...

I love my husband dearly. But I think he can survive on food that is 4 days old. Or eat out on Mondays!

Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree more.

swissmiss said...

You said it!!

The other day to look out for is the day before a holiday weekend - the Saturday before New Years, for example this year: Sunday the stores are closed, Monday was the New year's holiday and Tuesday was a holiday so the Saturday was. total. choas.

Something you should know about shopping hours: if a Wednesday is a holiday (a "Sunday"), then the Tuesday before the holiday often becomes a "Saturday" meaning the stores will close at 4 (at least that's how it works in Kanton Bern.) I've been screwed by that one time too many!

Expat Traveler said...

I think you will find with smaller fridges, you do go to the store more often if you can. We always went about 10 or 11am and it wasn't too bad, but it was a bit busy. Sometimes we went early also. IT never bothered me that mmuch, just get what you want and get out!

I'm guessing your area of Zurich much be quite busy though!

I prefer Coop for some good things, but I love Migros yogurts and breads more. Odd how that works.

What foods have you found that you love more? Find any soy yet? or a solution to your cereal woes?

greg.vernon said...

If you want a really scary experience, go drive to the Wurenlos Reststaette on a Sunday evening. It's very crazy.

Andreas said...


Don't know in which "Quartier" of Zurich you are, but most Coops are open till 5pm on Saturday. Unfortunately Migros still closes at 4pm. :o( And to think we voted for and accepted a law liberalizing shop opening hours... but the major chains just plain ignored it or extended from 4 to 5 *big deaaal*

Sunday shopping insider tip: while Shopville (Zurich HB) has 2 really cramped Migros, Stadelhofen Bhf has a Coop (yep: booze! wine! beer!) and the isles are wiiide (about 10 feet).