Buying Groceries (Almost) Like a Local

Today I went to the grocery store to get some food for lunch.  There are several steps involved in this process:

  1. Pick out what you want.  (And, I am fairly certain that I was the only one who walked into the store not knowing exactly what I wanted).
  2. Tell Lady #1 what you want.  She then writes down all the prices on a sheet of paper.
  3. Pay with Lady #2.
  4. Get the items from Lady #3.

For me, the process was a little different.  Half of the Russians in the store skipped step number 1, and it was difficult to grab the attention of the right lady (or to determine who was the right lady) to place my order with.

During step 3, I had a 1000 ruble bill for my 120 ruble check.  This was not ok.  After showing my wallet to the lady, she finally grunted a little, then walked away to get me change.  During this time, a Russian man decided to talk to me.  I said “I don’t know what you are saying”  He repeated “don’t know” then continued jabbering in Russian.  So, I ignored him until the lady came back.  He then tried to take MY change from the lady in the Kassa.  Thankfully, she refused to give it to him and she and I exchanged money in the back of the Kassa instead (this required me to be leaning way over the deli case).

Then, I was given my goods and left.  I suppose it was successful.  I walked out after exchanging money for food, and no one stole my change.


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