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Issue 13/2007, August 2 2007 (No. 241)

        
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THE DAILY GROOVE
ISSUE 013-07:
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In those shops those people cultivate their native traditions in order to combat their homesickness.

Christine Cimbal-Marocke

At the end of July my wife and I visited a shopping centre in a quarter in the East End of Bremen. The bus we took to reach there had been manufactured in Poland. We wanted to visit some shops where you can buy Russian and Polish foodstuffs.
 
The word 'good' was a part of the name of the Russian shop. The name was a touchingly naive self-adulation. The shop was obviously no branch store. It was a one-man business. The shop was in a large grey hall which was a little bit bald. Everything seemed to a little bit improvised. Little stick tags on the goods were the price labels. Here and there you saw handwritten price labels on the grey shelves.
 
Receipt of the Russian shop
 
Receipt of the Russian shop: 'Thank you very much for purchasing'
 
There was an overwhelmingly extensive supply of sweets. There were a lot of shelves which were full of various cookies. Next to the checkout counter there were shelves with about two dozend little compartments for various individually-wrapped candies and little sweets.
 
There was also large variety of canned pickle, especially tomatoes, cucumbers and coleslaw. All kinds of tomato sauces were on offer. We also saw heaps of sausages, bacons and canned fish. Two freezer cabinets were full of meat pies.
 
We saw a lot of brands of leaf tea and bagged tea. There were small, middle-sized and big packets. Besides the inevitable supply of vodka various giant bottles of beer caught our eyes. One bottle was shaped like a red fire extinguisher.
 
At the cash desk, which was already a little bit outdated, was a middle-aged plump man. He helpfully replied to our questions we asked him about the goods. He obviously liked to have a small talk with his compatriots.
 
Our next destination was a Polish supermarket. The dominant colour of the outdoor advertising and of the store fittings was red. There were a modern scanning cash register, a conveyer belt and a closed-circuit TV. The price labels were on the shelves. It was the appearance of a branch store.
 
There was also a striking supply of sweets, especially of filled chocolates. On some boxes were historically important names 'Casimir Pulaski' (Father of the American Cavalry, who was born in Poland) and 'Solidarnosc' (anti-Communist trade union movement in Poland).
 
The custumers also liked to buy packet soups and custard powder. In the freezer cabinets there were no meat pies. But there were a lot of various dumplings filled with fruit like strawberries and plums.
 
Entrance of a shopping centre
 
Entrance of a shopping centre
 
There was a very large supply of non-alcoholic soft drinks. We saw an odd thing among the bottles of spirits. A big bottle of vodka was shaped like an automatic firearm. It was in a olive-green arms box. Though the alcohlic drinks weren't the most important group of goods, there were a big beer advertising and big vodka advertising on the front windows of the shop.
 
A realy important group of goods was the supply of Polish newspapers and magzines. This supply did a small kiosk credit. The clients and cashier were also exchanging news.
 
Square in front of a shopping centre
 
Square in front of a shopping centre
 
We finally visited the 'Kabanos' shop, which was next to the supermarket. In this shop one could buy Silesian sausages.
(My wife Christine helped me to translate the text. Thanks.)

Please also read

Finds (9) about giant bottles of Russian beer

Advertising of a Turkish food wholesale firm

Places (19) about a small shopping center

Please also read Charlie Dittmeier's diary entry of November 25 2002 about a small shop in Phnom Penh.The link leads to the latest entry of the diary. Please scroll down.

The international poster organisation Loesje has started a project to train young people from all over Europe and Asia in how to organise and coordinate information campaigns about the Millennium Development Goals. These goals are set by the United Nations to fight poverty and to improve living standards world wide.

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Next issue 'The Daily Groove'
on Monday, August 20 2007.

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Please also read Cats Talk (35)

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