Hi everyone, Mardi from Eat, live, travel, write here – thanks for having me! When I saw that Meghan was looking for guest posters, I thought I had to offer, given that two of the words in our blog titles are the same, we must have something in common – love of travel and food! I am a huge traveler and would travel even more if finances permitted. Actually I am a pretty easy to please traveler – just put me in a supermarket in any foreign country (actually sometimes just another province in Canada can be pretty exciting too!) and I am a happy camper! When I was away this summer in Australia, Neil emailed me this article, knowing what a big fan of the foreign supermarket I am! The phrase that caught my eye was the author describing a foreign supermarket experience as “a quick, instant immersion course in the life and culture of a place” and asking How do local people deal with household pests? What kind of fragrances do they prefer in the laundry? How many weird flavors of ice cream exist in the universe?” So true, so true! When I am in France, oddly, one of the things I will always pick up at least 20 of are there: Uh huh, sponges. You just can’t buy anything like them here! Like this trip to the Chinatown market in Adelaide, Australia, our recent visit to a local Asian supermarket in preparation for our Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24 dinner last weekend was a mini voyage around the world in itself! Back home this summer for the first time in over seven years, I walked down memory lane a little in the supermarket. Candies, raisins and jam evoking sweet memories from my childhood caught my eye: Having lived in Paris for many years, I try to make it part of my travel plans most years and the supermarket is one of my favourite places to hang out. When I was there a few summers in a row completing my MA, I found myself procrastinating most days in the aisles of Monoprix… The things I love to check out in French supermarkets (well, apart from sponges)? Wine, cheese and dairy products: You can read about my love affair with French yoghurt (which I will never tire of eating or photographing) here! Cereal is also something I like to check out. Often, it’s the same product, just under a different name or spelling, like these from England: In Guatemala, I thought these were pretty fun: Whilst in Laos recently, I managed to snap these two before being asked to put my camera away (imagine!!!): You can read about the European passion for adding chocolate to their cereal here. Gotta love a country that eats chocolate for breakfast!! Sometimes it just makes you wonder why you can’t get the same cereals in your home country, like this one, from England: In the breakfast category – where else but England would offer such a huge range of crumpets??? Soft drinks are also an interesting product to investigate. On this post, you can see some drink photos I snapped in various stores (they don’t really have supermarkets per se) around Laos. So much sugar… but I guess when it is so hot all the time, you need to keep your blood sugar up, right? Way before the “pay for your plastic” bags became de rigeur in North America, we found this in a tiny superette in Cassis, southern France: (If you take too many plastic bags, you will be charged for them) As you can see, I could go on for a very long time about how much fun can be had in a foreign supermarket and how much of a mirror to society it is. I wonder if maybe when I retire I could lead supermarket tours around other countries???? In the meantime, I will continue to shop and snap and you can check out the results over at Eat, live, travel, write! Thanks for having me, Meghan!