Prague Culture Shock - Grocery Stores

A 12-part guide to the subtle - and not-so-subtle - nuances that make the Czech capital a more memorable experience

Most people don't go into a grocery store to browse, but if you're a weirdo who likes to compare the prices of bananas, know that you'll be considered a shoplifter if you don't take a basket or a shopping cart.

These are sometimes hidden or temporarily missing, however.

To use a cart in a store, you have to put a coin in the anti-theft mechanism, which you do get back later. Even if you're only buying a bottle of water, grab a basket anyway. Security guards in grocery stores can be armed with batons or stun guns. And they're just itching to use them…

"You forgot to mention that if you are a tourist and/or a new resident of this beautiful country, you should always make sure you carry in your purse or backpack a plastic bag for your groceries or you'll end up carrying all your groceries in your arms unless you are shopping in a big supermarket. Do not wonder if the cashiers look up at the mirror above them or stand up to check your cart is empty before they start checking out your groceries. Also do not expect supermarkets to give you extra plastic bags for your groceries. they are so priceless."
N. Vonev
March 9th, 2008

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