A pretty uneventful trip, as overseas flights go. But with a small dinner of vegetarian Indian curry and then missing breakfast when it arrived while I was inserting contacts during some air turbulence, my stomach was pretty empty by 3 p.m. Prague time, when I had finally finished unpacking.
Two adventure options: find a likely looking cafe or restaurant and challenge my menu-reading skills or find a grocery store and plan for more than just one meal. I chose the latter.
And it couldn’t be one of those mini-marts like the one across the narrow road from my apartment. I wanted choices. So I headed for the Tesco a half a mile away, according to the Google map. The grocery store is HUGE — and only the basement of the four-story building has food. The rest of it might be a Macy’s with a bakery and Starbuck’s tucked in the first floor.
Cheese was the first thing that caught my eye — sliced Swiss — that’s easy to recognize, and when the woman in front of me ordered that, I could indicate to the deli worker I wanted just the same. “Děkuji,” I mumbled, thanking her. On to the tomatoes on sale, the green grapes (hmmm, later to discover they have seeds — did the sign say that?), a bagel of sorts and a kaiser roll.
Three things left on my mental list: bottled water, and not so heavy I can’t carry it home, butter and maybe some puopon mustard. (I may have been hungry, but I have standards.) Success on all fronts, including a small package somewhat like a baby cottage cheese container that seemed to have the same words on it as the large glass jars of the fancy mustard — horčica. And, yes, it proved to be just what I wanted in a much more appropriate size.
Going through check-out is tough enough sometimes in an unknown US grocery, but when a sales clerk indicated I should do the self-checkout I hesitated. “Nerosumim.” (I don’t understand.) “It’s OK,” she said, and hustled me to the scanner. Now mind that she did it all and I would be no closer to doing it myself the next time, but it did work. Maybe that was enough grocery store adventure for a jet-lagged first day. And all it cost me was 395 Kč, which, if my rusty currency exchange skills serve me right, should be about $16. When was the last time I got out of Giant Eagle for only $16?!
(At least I think it was $16 — it could have been $1.60 or $160, but I’ll work on currency tomorrow.)