Saturday, March 20, 2010

The path to my hunting grounds

I have somewhat exotic shopping habits, if you look at it from the other side of the pond.

On the other hand .. in the US I watch in amazement at large areas of stores, with huge parking lots, and not a sidewalk or a bike-path in sight. Everybody go everywhere in cars, even if you just have to go 2 blocks down to shop.

Most of my shopping I manage to get done on foot, with a few hefty shopping bags and a backpack for the heavy stuff.

I live 5-10 minutes walk from the centre of the town I live in - a moderate sized town by danish standards, but rather tiny compared to a lot of larger american towns.

So I take off on foot, to a nearby square, where there is both a grocery store and a veggie pusher. Not that you can't get vegetables at the grocery store, but they are just fresher and more varied at the vegetable shop. I start by picking up my fruit, and various onions, broccoli, eggplant and whatother favourite I have this week .. and what looks good.

Then I go to the grocery store, and get basic stuff like milk, flour, yoghurt ... the basics. Not cheese, though --- I prefer to go to the cheese shop downtown, where I can taste the cheese I pick out, and look at the large variety of cheeses, crackers, salts, vinegars and jams they sell there.

On the way home ... very close to where I live ... I pop into the butchers to get whatever meat I need. I usually only get meat for a few days, coz I want it fresh, and if I can avoid putting it in the freezer, I will.
We get most of our meat from the butchers. You can get a variety of meat at the grocery store, but the past few years we've had a lot of meat-scandals in Denmark - where grocery stores were exposed for selling meat that was marked to be fresher than it was, germ-ridden, fatter than it was labelled to be, and even containing other meat than labelled.

After that, we started going to our local butcher and found it
a) no more expensive than the supermarkets
b) immensely more fresh ... frequently they run it through the chopping-mashine while we look
c) less fat - our hamburgers suddenly don't shrink to 2/3 the size any more when we cook them.

All this I manage to do on foot. Partly because we only live 3 people here on a daily basis, and partly because I go 2-3 times a week, sometimes with Bruno along to help carry (and for his delightful company too).

I see people going by in cars, and I am so happy that I can walk back and forth. That used to be me, when the nearest shop were miles away from my home. I've considered getting a little trailer for my bicycle (I have a very nice 7 gear citybike that gets me to work and back when the weather is not too bad - 6 or 7 miles both ways, it's a lovely way to get a little extra exercise in), so I can go further and shop bigger, but so far I am content with walking back and forth.

Walking, and in particular biking, is very common here. A lot of households only have one car - cars, and the gas they run on, are a lot more expensive here than in the US. I laugh when I hear americans weeping at their gas prices ... come to Europe, dears!

The effect is that small cars are a hit, and that a lot more people transport themselves by bicycle. Copenhagen is packed with bikes! And every village, town and city have bikepaths as a natural part of city planning. We don't drive our kids everywhere ... they ride their bikes.

So ... I am not exotic. Just a danish town dweller, with danish habits :-)


Bunched Undies said...

Sounds like a nice way to live Lotte, and much better for the Earth

Lizelotte said...

Life is good here -- even though I'd happily swap climate with you :-)