Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

Not a place where chickens live. It’s the name of a supermarket chain in Italy. There are several of them in Bologna. The ones within the walls tend to be fairly small for a supermarket and I don’t think much of them. There was a big one near where I lived last year and one about a half mile from where I am living now. Cesarina says that it’s nothing great and she prefers by far the Esselunga but it is a LONG way from where I am living.

Last Saturday I rode my bicycle that I have rented to the Coop. I arrived fairly early so that there wouldn’t be a million people inside since I wanted not only to do some grocery shopping but also to take some pictures. So I took a few pictures and then was approached by a woman who was obviously an employ of the place.

“ You can’t take pictures inside the store unless you have authorization.”, she said.

“Come, scusi? (What, excuse me?)”

“ You can’t take pictures without authorization and since it is Saturday there is nobody that can give you authorization.”

“But I’m an American and I only want to take some photos to show my readers what a great store this is.”

“Sorry that’s the law.”

“Law or regulation?”

“Well, maybe it’s just a regulation but you cannot take any more pictures”

If my Italian were better I could have had a really good argument with here although it probably wouldn’t have mattered. But after all arguing seems to be the national pastime here and I was sorry to miss such a great opportunity. So I did what any Italian would probably do; I waited until she was out of sight and took some more pictures. I was a bit intimidated and so didn’t take as many photos as I would have liked.

In the photo of the fish section below note the orange basket. It has wheels and a handle that lifts up to drag it around. A really nice alternative to the hand basket that one find in stores in the U.S. Of course they have grocery carts almost identical to ours as well.

I’m sure that I mentioned in another post that you need to weigh and label your produce before putting it in the basket. This is actually a pretty good system since then everything in your basket has a barcode and the checkout goes quickly. There are also self-checkout stations with both english and italian options for instructions. Since the lines can be quite long they are very useful.

I didn’t take a picture of the beer section. It’s quite modest in comparison to my favorite supermarket or for that matter most american markets. Also I’ve yet to see cold beer for sale in a market here. In addition to a few Italian beers there were German ones and Heinekin -which seems to be quite popular here. That says something about the Italian beers. There were only two beers from outside europe – Corona and Budweiser. That perhaps also says something about Italian beers.

8 Responses to “The COOP”

  1. Pat Morrison Says:

    Well it’s good to hear that things have not changed in the couple of weeks that I have been gone. It is a nice reminder of what I am missing, how I wish I was back in Bologna. I am looking forward to the next blog.

  2. Joe Says:

    It’s good to hear from you Pat. Perhaps we can meet again one of these days. Maybe I’ll come to Scotland sometime during your month of summer.


  3. Victor Miller Says:

    Great piece.

  4. Joe Says:

    Glad that you liked it Victor.


  5. nina Says:

    Check out their reusable plastic bags. They had coop lin Switzerland a the bags were arty and cheap.

  6. Joe Says:

    Hi Nina,

    Almost all of the plastic bags here are recyclable at least. I’d rather have paper but must admit that when on foot, plastic really is more practical.


  7. Peter Hillen Says:

    Hi Joe,
    Makes me hungary!

  8. Joe Says:

    Well, you’ll just have to come for a visit.


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