Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Another Migros Moment


To celebrate my 400th post on One Big Yodel, I thought I'd discuss one of my favorite topics, shopping at Migros.

I've had so many run-ins (literal run-ins, with people plowing into me) at various Migroi that I have a name for them: "Migros Moments."

"What's wrong?" my husband asked me last week when he saw I was steaming as I unloaded the groceries.

"I had another Migros moment," I said.

"Oh no," he said. He knows these are bad because he's been involved in his own.

Anyhow, I’m innocently getting an onion when the Mad Cart Man of Baden goes by me at about 75 miles-an-hour with his shopping cart. He doesn’t actually hit me, but he hits another lady’s cart, as well as my shoulder bag, which goes flying off my shoulder. Thank God there were no children in his path because they'd be dead right now.

I try not to feel all American and offended by his invasion of my personal space, but he doesn’t even apologize. He screeches to a halt in front of the potatoes, (naturally, because it’s where I’m headed next), so I grab a plastic bag in frustration, letting it rip loudly as it tears.

Then, the Mad Cart Man of Baden starts lecturing me on my plastic bag ripping technique. I couldn't believe it. No one has ever lectured me about something as anal as this. Especially someone who could use a speedometer on his shopping cart.

“It’s better if you pull off the bag this way,” he says, gripping the next plastic bag on the roll, “then you don’t make it hard for me to grab the next one.”

It’s better if you don’t pretend you’re driving a shopping cart in a Formula One race,” I want to tell him, but my German is frozen so I just say as sarcastic as possible,

“Es tut mir leid.” And then I'm so anxious to get the heck out of that store that I start shopping as fast as possible. But at least I'm using a basket.

Have you had a Migros Moment? If so, please tell. I'll love you for it.

25 comments:

Kelly said...

I've had two "moments" that I can think of right now, but they both were not that bad. A woman cut in front of me in the check out line. I hadn't learned past tense yet so I didn't know how to say "I was here first," so I was even more mad that I couldn't react. However, she eventually saw me, realized what she'd done, apologized profusely and even complimented my German (though I think all I'd said is "kein Problem.")
Then there was the time I got carded for buying a 90 Rappen beer. I blogged about that here: http://kellyandwojtek.com/?p=447

Chantal said...

Hi Kelly, thanks for sharing your "moment."

Wow, I've never been carded in this country. Guess I look old.

I've lost count at the number of people that have cut in line in front of me in this country. And I've not had many apologize either.

M'dame Jo said...

I don't remember any specific moments, but I have two comments:

- Old people cut check out lines. And they act totally innocent, pretending to have Alzheimer or something excusing their inappropriate behavior. I don't care if you're old. Because if you're 93 and shopping at 6.45 pm, you're just living your life to annoy people who work all day and have to shop at 6.45 pm. Same with 7 articles lines.

- I think it is perfectly acceptable to yell at the guy and insult him in English. Or kick him in the nuts. Or give him the finger. Or grab something from his cart and smash it on the floor. But apologizing is not.

Kathy said...

It's survival of the pushiest. I've been told this is a Zürich thing.

Weirdly no one responds to the eye line thing, where you look at the person heading towards you to indicate your direction. That's how people move around each other without gunfire in most big North American cities. Not here though.

I was getting really frustrated about this stuff (and getting bruised too), when I realized I needed to go with the flow. Now I maintain a resolute obliviousness to others in public: I just keep rolling in the direction I've chosen and it's up to them to move. I still get bumped into, but now I realize that others are just doing the same thing I am.

I was disappointed today though. I just missed clipping this woman's ankle with my boots by scant millimeters when she cut me off while I was crossing the street :)

Chantal said...

M'dame Jo, you are right about old people cutting in lines. But young ones do too. At least at the unemployment office where they are at their most desperate.

Thanks for the advice. I never seem to handle these situations right because my languages get all confused in my head and I end up saying something lame.

Kathy, glad you can relate to the bruised feeling. It's good knowing I'm not alone. But what is up with this? I just don't get why everyone pushes so much here.

juanitatortilla said...

What a rough moment. You're right to call it a Migros Moment. Thankfully, no such moments for me, and please dear-somebody, I really don't wish to ever have to live through one.

Chantal said...

I think next time I'll order online and get home delivery. The 7 Francs might be worth it.

Amanda said...

Love this post, Chantal. I can't think of a specific moment, but I've had them. Maybe too numerous to remember specific details. I have mad skills when it comes to erasing bad memories.

Chantal said...

Lucky you to be able to erase bad memories. I do the opposite and write them down so they're set in stone.

mrsmac said...

Oh yes. An old lady pushed me out of the way, while I was hugely pregnant and with Marion, in the check out line. I was trying to buy trash bags and was obviously annoying her.

I guess age trumped huge lady with baby and kid in her mind. Scratch that- Swiss person trumped foreigner is more like it.

E said...

It takes me a good half hour to gather my courage to face the Bahnhof Migros on a Sunday...it often feels like I am playing rugby again. Why can I never remember to get my shopping done in the week so I can avoid the Sunday scrum?

Chantal said...

Even during the week it's bad though. This old man thing happened on a Wednesday. But yeah, Saturdays are the absolute worst.

John, Kim and Ella said...

Sadly, reading this post and the following comments makes me feel a little teeny bit better about how things have been going for us too. We've been here a few months, and I feel like every outing is filled with 'migros moments!" By the time I make it home, I'm usually fuming because it's taken so much work to navigate the stores, sidewalks, crosswalks and lines with a stroller/toddler. I'm always exhausted by the time I come home. I agree with Kathy - sometimes I try to just 'act like the swiss' and push my way through, but that usually just ends up in disaster for everyone. Thanks for sharing- I guess misery loves company :o)

Chantal said...

Sorry that you can relate too. I guess it's just a tough cultural and personal space thing that is hard to get used to.

Stephersplatz said...

Everytime I go to Migros on a Sunday I come out feeling really stressed out... I have to take a deep breath before going in and get ready to push my way through for the next 20 minutes or so.

I've also been carded at least 4 times since moving here buying 1 bottle of wine. This kind of makes me laugh, actually. The last time this happened was at the Aldi yesterday.
I'm 24 and people tell me often that I look younger but I really don't think I look 15...

Chantal said...

That's crazy about being carded. I can't say that that's happened to me. I must look old.

M'dame Jo said...

I never got carded as a teenager but i did as an adult until i turned 25. They became more strict with the age thing than when i was a kid. You could buy cigarette at the age of 10 if you said it was for your dad... Anyways. I don't mind it here, it's not as bad as the US with the 'we card under 40' thing. I couldn't get in a game place because the bouncer refused my swiss passport. Age 28. Great.

Chantal said...

Yeah, they are stupid with carding in the U.S. I've seen them card people with grey hair. They have no shame in carding everyone, even though common sense would tell you to do otherwise.

Jen said...

Dear God, if you think the Swiss are bad, stay away from Denmark! Someone shoulder swiped me walking down the street yesterday in Basel - we described it as "being Copenhagened".

dale01 said...

With a large family the tiny carts were just not large enough for us, so when we lived in Zurich, we pulled two of them - clasped together head-to-head. Needless to say, this made us Migros-moment champions. Now, back in the USA, we are at the other extreme. The shopping carts at Costco are so large, that my wife and four kids find it easiest to all sit in the cart and begin cooking while I am shopping in order to save time. We use the Vlasic pickle jars as stools.

Globatris said...

Ha ha! Yes I´ve had Migros Moments too! But mostly Coop moments ... a friend was told she was not to shop that much everytime but rather go everyday to spread it out - to avoid having people wait for such a long time in the line behind her.
Ciao!
Charlotta
www.globatris.se/expat-blog/

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