All posts tagged “lidl

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German Supermarkets: A User’s Guide

This was written by me and featured originally on Uberlin.co.uk

Four years after claiming independence and moving to Berlin, the supermarket still feels like the most iconic place of my adulthood and one of the most fascinating Berlin places to write about. While other bloggers document colourful night scenes and vivid cultural environments, I find myself in a complicated love triangle with Lidl and Rewe, and am now ready to disclose the dynamics of these relationships. My user guide to Berlin supermarkets will lead you through a correct, satisfying and 100% German grocery shopping experience.

Dairy CaseDairy Case by Roey Ahram, on Flickr

CHAPTER 1: “I’M A PFAND MACHINE READY TO RELOAD”

First: Enter your supermarket of choice.

Second: Head towards the Pfand machine.

Any respectable trip to a German supermarket includes a mandatory stop at the Pfand machine, which is usually located before the actual shopping area. Not stopping there would be like going to IKEA without eating meatballs.

Glance at the 75-year-old lady who just beat you to the line by one fraction of a second. Using her last remaining life force, she’s carrying seven plastic bags full of bottles and is now feeding them into the machine.

Very. Slowly.

Consider leaving the line but then change your mind: it would be a drag to go through the whole shopping process with a bag dripping a mix of Club Mate and beer (probably a real cocktail recipe somewhere in Berlin). Also, you could do with freeing up an extra three square metres in your room before your flatmate calls the crew of Hoarding: Buried Alive.

Years pass. The lady lets you know she’s done by smiling at you and saying something incomprehensible, which is probably German for “I’m a rich bitch now. So long, suckers!” Watch her pink-haired body floating away with what was probably hundreds of Euros and a smile of victory on her face.

It’s your turn now.

You only have five bottles, so this shouldn’t take long. Unfortunately for you, after the first bottle has been sucked in, the machine notifies you that the containers placed on the other side of the wall are full. “You need to press the red button”, says the Pfand-bot.

The red button is the last trace of a Germany that wants you to feel in control. Clearly, its only purpose is to give you a false sense of safety, just like the numbers on Lost. Don’t even mind the button and do the only rational thing: cry out for help.

Don’t lose hope: someone will come.

CHAPTER 2: “WE FOUND CAKE IN A HOPELESS PLACE” Read More

Lidl and Me: an update

After writing about my relationship problems with Lidl, the german supermarkets chain, I experienced some weird emotions. Expressing my deepest feelings like that, in front of everybody, made me feel naked and vulnerable, and I swore to myself that I wouldn’t have written one more word about it.

But then hundreds of you wrote to cheer me up, give me relationship advice and ask me how things with Lidl were going, so I figured the least I could do is give you a short update on the situation.

lidl and me

I’ll be completely honest with you: we went through tough times. Read More

Lidl, we need to talk

I won’t lie to you: when it comes to german supermarkets, REWE is my true and only love.

logo rewe

Rewe is sexy (every time I step in I feel the excitement of the first time) but it’s not like a one night stand. It is there for me, it cuddles me with selected delicious brands, it brings me the groceries home when I’m a lazy ass, it instructs me about the german culture with compelling sticker collections. Let’s admit it: there is nothing like REWE.

That said, I’ve always thought of you, Lidl, as a good number two.  You were like an old friend I don’t see so often but I know I can always count on. You were direct, focused on substance rather than appearance, always there to give me just what I needed without useless embellishments.

Lidl_logo

I used to care for you, and I know you used to care for me, but things have changed, we grew apart. I could have just stayed silent and turn to Aldi or Netto, but I really want things to be good again, therefore I’m going to tell you why I’m hurt. Read More