Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Things I find intriguing about our new home

The grocery stores are chock full of all kinds of delicious things. But then you see something like this.

Those are chicken feet, if you can't tell.

Then there are the spices. They have many of the same ones we have at home. But they're, well, a little different. The first ingredient in Fajita Seasoning? Curry. And Italian Seasoning? Tomatoes. Not bad, just...different.

And the cereal. They are crazy about chocolate cereal over here! I don't understand it myself, but every single type of cereal has some chocolate variety. And, yes, they're pretty good.

Then there's the wine. Where to find U.S. wines? In the "New World" section, of course! Can you imagine a U.S. grocery store carrying European wines in the "Old World" section?

(That says "Vins de Nouveau Monde")

Speaking of which, why is it that all the California wines are the lousiest wines in California? The entire section is Gallo!

Check out the "USA section" of the local grocery store for another example of erroneous perceptions of American food products. Other than Oreos and Jelly Bellies, I've never seen any of those items in a U.S. grocery store, and Walker's Shortbread? Clearly British!

Then there are all the mysterious meters and gauges around my house. I've yet to discover what this one measures. Hope it's not too important, whatever it is, since it's nearly empty!

I have been forced to notice all these meters because I recently got one of these in my mailbox:

Can you tell what it is? Not the best picture, I know, and it took me a while to decipher it as well. Apparently, the gas, water and electricity meter reader stops by and if no one is home, leaves this little postcard for the resident to fill out and mail back to the utility company. You have to find all your meters and write the little numbers in so they know how much to bill you. Strange, huh? So far I've found the electricity and water meter but have yet to find the one for gas.

On to parking. To park on the streets just about anywhere in the city of Luxembourg, you need to buy a ticket from a nearby machine. Unless, that is, you have a resident sticker from one of the city communes (neighborhoods). Then you use this handy little wheel. Just set the dial to reflect the hour you plan to leave -- not to exceed the maximum number of hours allowed, which varies by neighborhood. So, basically, it's the honor system. Can you imagine how this would go over in San Francisco?

And, finally, one little random one. This is a package of very international matches from the Swedish Belgium Match company in Houthalen, wherever that is. Matches, apparently in one of the languages they speak here (don't ask me which), are called "lucifers." Appropriate, right?

(Sorry, I have no idea why that picture refuses to rotate. I hope you can read upside down.)


  1. We just saw a package of chicken feet in the Auchan the other day. Reminded me of my time in Taiwan where the college kids would gnaw on them as snacks (ew).

  2. Oh my goodness! Gnawing on chicken feet. I can't imagine that. They weren't raw, were they?

  3. I've never seen these chicken feet. I suspect they are for the portuguese population, indicated by the small flag. It's not typically luxembourgish. I've no idea how to eat them.

  4. Ah, now the flag makes sense. I do wonder how people eat them. In a soup or stew maybe? It's hard for me to imagine them being appetizing under just about any circumstance.

  5. Hey, frustrated as you are with your grocery's USA section, you might be happy to know that now there's an online shop for american stuff in Luxembourg :

  6. came across your blog the other day...
    really interesting!

    regarding the meter readings. we have something imilar here in Ireland: if you're not home then a piece of paper is left for you so that you c take the meter reading yourself and phone te readings in, therefore getting a more ccurate bill rather than an estimate reading.

  7. Chele, that makes sense. In the US utility meters are always in a place accessible to the meter readers, so this was really surprising to me. But it's a good idea!