Here in Hungary I've barely seen a plastic box containing food for weeks. That makes a change, particularly from Sainsbury's, where I used to shop when I lived in London - but Australian supermarkets are also pretty keen on putting stuff onto polystyrene trays and wrapping it all up in yards of clingfilm. These things may come, of course, but for now, despite the fact that Tesco's is engaged in a creeping invasion of Hungary, it has not yet conquered all before it.
As a result, for the time being in Budapest my choice is not limited to chain stores or upmarket 'wholefood' places. Here, I either go round the corner to the greengrocer - a kindly man with a moustache who is on such good terms with some of his female customers that, after hearing all the ins and outs of their family's ailments et cetera, as he measures out apricots and potatoes, and then carrying their groaning bags out to the pavement and ensuring they've grasped them firmly enough to get back up the street to their apartments, he receives warm goodbye kisses - or I go to one of the local markets.
There's nothing especially exciting about any of the stuff on offer - it's not exotic like Brunei. However, I love the sheer abundance and the faces of some of the people behind the counters:
|Uh oh, plastic boxes - whatever happened to those wicker punnets of my childhood|
|My husband likes this lady because she calls him young man - and indeed, if I go to the market without him, she asks where the young man is (I suppose youth is a matter of perspective)|