Notes from Tallahassee, Florida, on a Late April Day in 2020

Our daughter Margo, who lives in Tallahassee, FL, is today’s guest blogger, and shares her observations, and some photos, during COVID-19 with us.

Florida has been quite slow in its reaction to the Coronavirus – its effects likewise. Publix is a southern grocery store, where we often shop. It was one of the first grocery stores, before corporations like Walmart and Target, to enforce stricter guidelines on how one can shop.

Publix, along with Walmart, have now instructed customers that they can only go down aisles one way. A lot of Floridians see the signs, don’t care, and proceed walking down the aisle incorrectly. My guess as to why they have these guidelines is to reduce overcrowding and maintain the 6 feet distance rule.

The photo below was also taken at Publix. I walked by this woman who wore a unicorn costume for a hazmat suit. She also wore a face mask and was completely serious about it.

hazmat suit shopping

Last week, my partner and I went fishing at St. Marks in Florida, a popular tourist area. While trying to navigate our way through the area, we found camp grounds where people were grilling and hanging out together.

All in all, there  are some restrictions and limitations set by the governor of Florida. However, today on 30 April, some of these limitations have been lifted. So, now we can have people go to restaurants at 25% capacity, and you can sit outside of restaurants and eat.

Florida has not yet flattened the curve, and we might have to expect a second wave.

From HL Markt to Handok Market in Oberursel

For many years, the HL Markt was the only one in our neighborhood. In 2001, we heard it would close soon, because a newer and bigger one would open in the new housing area ‘Camp King’. Some residents of the Rosengaertchen area signed a petition asking to keep the HL Markt open until the new one opens. By then, we had an aging population already, who had to do their shopping on foot, and quite a few of us relied on this small supermarket.

In November 2002, EDEKA Supermarket in Camp King opened its doors and the old HL Markt in the Rosengärtchen closed. Fortunately for us Asian food aficionados, the Asian market HanDok Kaufcenter 한독마트 moved in.

I used to shop at the HL Markt on a regular basis, so the photographer happened to catch me that day for the photo accompanying the article.

Closing the HL Supermarket

HL Markt Rosengärtchen – Schließung 2002

In 1995, when we moved here, German supermarket opening hours were still very limited:

Monday – Friday until 18:30 (closed for lunch) and Saturday until 13:00

Cork Screws and 3 Things You Can Only Find in a French Supermarket

On the last evening of our three-day stay in Riquewihr, we had dinner at the Au Tire Bouchon restaurant. True to its namesake, it had an innovative display of old cork screws on the wall, mounted to an old Badminton board. And yes, dinner and service were good.

The cork screw industry must be doing well in France. There is a lot more wear and tear. Proof of this you see in the supermarket aisles. 🙂

cork screws

On the way back to Germany, we stopped in the French town of Wintzenheim at the Simply Market supermarket. I loved the aisles (yes, aisles) of red wine on display.

red wine

As we were passing the produce section, a blast of steam came out right from the shelving unit. I’d suppose this is to keep the produce fresh and moist. I’ve never seen this in a German supermarket.

keep veggies fresh

My daughter likes to eat walnuts, but all we get at our very big supermarket in Oberursel is prepackaged ones. I was surprised to see so many nuts for sale.


Advent Calendars from Germany

Among the many different advent calendars for children, there is a new one out for adults.

This is the first time I’ve seen this adult kind. Placed between children’s calendars , it surely won’t be missed by moms – strategic targeting and marketing.

The origins of the Advent calendar are said to come from German Lutherans (early 19th century), when they counted down the first 24 days of December.

How times have changed. From German Lutheran, we have moved on to topless German guys. Happy Advent!


A Good Reason to Travel

I never make a trip to the United States without visiting a supermarket. To me they are more fascinating than any fashion salon.

– Wallis Simpson –

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