Saturday, February 7, 2009

In search of trash bags

Buying trash bags was on my to do list yesterday. These bags are only available at the cash register at our Migros or at the information desk at our local Coop. Somehow I have escaped this errand since arriving in Switzerland; Brian's been doing it all of these months. I still have anxiety over trying to communicate with people who don't speak English.

But yesterday I put on my big, pregnant girl panties and went to Migros to get trash bags.

I was standing in line at the cash register with a few other things I needed to pick up and Marion who was in full run and play mode. I asked the woman ringing me up for trash bags. She looked at me like I had three heads. I motioned for trash bags and asked if she spoke English. No dice.

So she motioned for a coworker to step away from her register and come help. She kept talking to me about how they didn't have the trash bags. I was so confused, Brian told me they were here! Well, come to find out that they didn't have 25 L trash bags, something about them not being available until March. I don't know why that was an issue, I wanted 60 L and hadn't even gotten the chance to request a certain size. They just assumed. But by the time I had determined that that was the problem, I had already paid for the rest of my things and the woman who spoke English had to run back to her other register to help waiting customers who just happened to be glaring at me. As she rushed away, she said that 60 L bags were available at the register and to ask the woman I had spoken to first.

I turned to the woman at my register who was now checking out someone two places behind me in line. She had already checked out an older woman who was buying a strawberry pastry. And before I could process that this situation was hopeless (darn pregnancy brain), the old lady pushed me out of the way to get her pastry. Literally, pushed me to the side without a word and grabbed her stinking pastry.

Must have been a really good pastry.

I decided that the damn trash bags would have to wait at that point, threw the things I purchased into my purse, and dragged Marion away.

Brian had said it was an easy process but, somehow, I get myself into these crazy situations. No wonder I still have anxiety! Luckily, friends have told me a German words to use for trash bags, säcke, to avoid this in the future.

And later that day, I went to the Coop to get the trash bags without incident.

3 comments:

Susan May said...

I sometimes pick up the Zuri-sacks at Die Post, where they are sold all bundled up by the clerk's windows. At some of the Coop's I've been to, they only sell the trash sacks at the Kiosk counter. I remember when I first moved here, I was visiting a friend in Adliswil and while at the Coop, tried to purchase some Zuri-sacks. Ha! The clerk was nice about it, but boy was I embarrassed when I realized that of course they wouldn't be for sale in Adliswil!

rösti said...

We are lucky, in our town, we buy stickers! This means we can use any size and style of garbage bag we want. sooo nice. Here they are called Abfallmärken, so I assume bags would be called Abfallsäcke...?

The Antiques Diva™ said...

Oh Ms Mac, I've so stood in your shoes - not the pregnancy shoes, but the expat shoes where you stand trying to buy the simpliest thing imaginable.

A few years ago in my little village in Holland, they quit selling bleach (bleek). I looked in every store... no go. For months, our whites were dingy grey... and then one day, the bleach shows up again inside the Albert Hein. Only this time instead of being stored with the laundry detergent it was hidden away next to the toilet bowl cleaner. Now I clean my toilet with bleach too.... but wouldn't it make sense to store the bleach in 2 places in the store, just to ensure customers can find it?

Alas, months later I went to search for the bleach (by the toilet bowl cleaner)and yet again it had disappeared. When I inquired the store manager he responded, "We don't sell bleach here... We never have!" All I have to wonder is WHAT was I PUTTIN IN MY LAUNDRY all those years??

Nice to "meet you" by the way. I discovered your site through Swisstory and the Mrs Mac Interviews Me post.

Best regards,
Toma, aka The Antiques Diva