Aya’s parents literally live right across the street from a pretty big super market. So close her mom calls it her refrigerator. I call it the Kroger, even though it’s more like a two story Meijer. But since we were limited in what we could do this trip, we started ‘hanging out’there after we put Ellie down. At first, it seemed like any other grocery store but once you started roaming the aisles, there were lots of fun things to look at.

One thing that surprised me about this place is that instead of greeters they have uniformed security guards who wear white gloves. Ones that say hello, direct traffic, keep the parked bicycles organized, assist pedestrians with crossing the street, or helping retrieve their bicycles. Aya tells me this is pretty typical with bigger grocery stores. Wow, that’s pretty cool.

Once inside, feeling free of schedules and not having to tip-toe past a sleeping baby, we felt light wandering around. We would usually start upstairs first where the clothes and non-grocery items were sold. They had some cheap stylish baby clothes we gawked over then headed down. It’s funny that despite our freedom of not having a baby, the first thing we did was go look at baby clothes for her. We had to buy her the shirt that said, “I love donuts.” We just had to.(okay, well, I had to) 

It’s nice roaming a grocery store near closing because there aren’t as many people there, and the ones that are, just want to grab things and get out. So they barely noticed the white guy taking pictures throughout the store. I was trying to be covert, but let’s face it, I was pretty obvious.

The produce area is fairly normal. Other than a few different looking vegetables, it’s pretty much like our stores, just on a smaller scale. But the food aisles have the things I find really interesting. A whole entire section for the different types of seaweed, Natto (fermented soy beans), miso, soy sauce, and tofu. I know it’s not that big of a deal, but it’s just fun to look at because it’s so different.

I really love looking at the snack food aisles though. They have everything from funky flavored Pringles, dried fish parts, squid cartilage, chocolate flavored potato chips, to soy crackers. The cereal aisle was funny too. We have a bajillion flavors back home, but here they just had a small section where the boxes looked like they barely had two servings in them.

But anyway, this is the place we came to escape. To sneak a small snack without anybody knowing (therefore not having to feel guilty about it), or just a place to hang out at to be out of the house. Aya’s mom keeps tight control over her fridge in the kitchen. She’s very protective of it, and we don’t really feel comfortable checking things out inside. Fortunately for us, this fridge, we had free access to.

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