◆ olives: I was shopping at a national supermarket chain today, which never stocks olives cured using local methods. Olives cured in the style of mainland Greece are also very tasty - but the family is used to the local varieties of olives, and if I buy anything else, I will end up eating them alone. This is not an undesirable prospect, but it's not really economical. The olives will have to be bought another time when I go shopping with local products in mind (which is the reason I forgot to buy them today while I was in the town centre - I had other kinds of shopping on my mind)
◆ cotton buds: luckily, I remembered to buy these at a €1 shop while I was there; they are more expensive at the supermarket, because they are branded - €1.00 (200 pieces)
◆ toilet paper: I could have bought this item at a much cheaper price from a stock shop while I was in town. But who really wants to walk around with a bumper-pack of toilet rolls in their hands, while they're on a shopping errand in the centre of town? - €6.55 (10 rolls)
◆ Badedas: although we buy and use bars of olive oil soap , liquid soap is easier to use and is preferred by most members of my family. Liquid soap is now a part and parcel of the routine of a globalised lifestyle. 'Gourmet' olive oil soap will continue to be made in the future (for similar reasons that Dutch clogs are still being made and worn). It is priced outrageously at the supermarket , although it's often sold at a reduced price if you buy it in bulk or at discount stores (use sparingly, I remind my loved ones) - €5.40 (750ml)
"Yes, my little piranha fish?" (as Basil Fawlty used to ask his wife) ◆ fish - there's cheap fish and expensive fish, just like there is frozen fish and fresh fish; my biggest temptation is fresh fish, and Saturday is the only day we can eat fish (because it's the only day I have time to cook it). The children's weekend sports activities take me through the town centre, where my eyes feast on the fresh fish available at the fishmongers. Koletis fish shop near the municipal buildings offers two species at a special price every day, changing the species daily. Today, there was European hake (known in Greek as 'bakaliaraki') for €5/kg - other times, this species costs €10/kg (for the small fish, and €18/kg for the big fish). This is my family's favorite fish dish (fried) - €10.00 (2kg)
◆ wool: I used to knit a lot in NZ, where the weather was colder, and wool was cheap. I stopped knitting in the last decade, but now that my daughter is becoming fashion-conscious, I've taken it up again to make her scarves and other accessories. Yarns are now fancier than in my youth, but they are still affordable. The yarn for the scarf pictured above cost more to buy in Holland (€7.95 for a 100g ball), where I first saw it, than it did in Greece (€5-6 a ball, depending on the brand). I bought some pure wool today to make my daughter some leg-warmers (2x50g balls @ €4.00 each) and a fancy polyamide yarn to make myself a scarf (100g for one ball - €5.50).
And as happen on most shopping expeditions, there was at least one item that was not on my original shopping list - more on that another time.
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