Tuesday, 4 October 2016

What is the supermarket etiquette in Uruguay?

1.  Can't find a carpark at the supermarket?...don't worry just take two - everyone else does!

2. Shop in the early morning and then there are less people in the store.  If you go after business hours or on a weekend then it will seem like every man and his dog is stocking up for the end of the world.  Please note that shopping early in the morning will still not mean that your checkout will be quick as there is likely to be only two checkouts open anyway! 

3. If you have less than 15 items use the new shelf-checkouts (yes you heard me, 'NEW', self-checkouts have finally made it to Uruguay!).  You can save time because not only is shelf-check out quicker because you can work at lightening speed compared with the checkout workers, but also because Uruguayans haven't worked out how to use self-checkouts yet so they are normally empty :)

4. Don't start to load your grocery items onto the conveyor belt until the person in front of you has fully paid and left the line.  I kid you not!  The old 'next customer' sign seems to have been missed out from 'Supermarket Setup 101' in Uruguay.  If you do start to load your items on while the previous customer still has some items on the conveyor belt you will get a look of disgust followed by a look on confusion as to how the checkout worker will ever be able to tell the difference between one shop and the next :) 

5. Pack your own bags, you will thank me later.  Checkout workers in Uruguay have no idea how to pack bags - you will end up with all your heavy items in one bag and all your light items in another. 

6. Bring recyclable supermarket bags, not only will you help save the environment because checkout workers in Uruguay seem to be in a competition to see who can use the most plastic bags per customer, but also the look on their faces when they see your reusable bags is hilarious - especially when they then ask "you want everything in these bags?" ha ha.

7.  Can't be bothered putting your trolley in the trolley bay after your shopping? don't worry because no else uses trolley bays.  I am pretty sure no one in Uruguay even knows what a trolley bay is!  Not to mention that it is awesome when you go to pull into a carpark only to realize someone has left their trolley in it so you have to back out and find another space!

Enjoy your supermarket shopping experience!

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