One of the aspects I enjoy about traveling is the things that are basically the same but not quite, all the little variations.  American municipal trash trucks work and look pretty much the same way all over the country.  Here they’re quite different in both design style—somewhat more sci-fi looking I would say—and in functional implementation, with a fork that lifts the can to hatch up top and no obvious exposed crushing mechanism.

Food is another one where’s the really a lot of commonality, but then a lot of differences.  For example, not surprisingly, I haven’t seen any cheddar cheese here, but there are stacks of Gouda and Eidam everywhere, quite the opposite of the US.

This is the biggest peanut butter jar I’ve been able to find. It does not nearly come up to Caitlin Thompson standards of quantity. Fun tip: January 24th is US National Peanut Butter Day…


This plastic thing seems like the most common container for eggs. Note that it holds 10 eggs, not 12. That realization after I got it home basically blew my mind. Sizes on sale seem to be 6, 10, 20, and 36 (!).


I pretty much grew up eating pineapple yogurt, which is ubiquitous in the US. Here it’s not available at all, but several much less common flavors are abundant, including apple, mango, apricot, and plum. What we call Greek yogurt is “smetanový jogurt,” creamy yogurt, and seems generally a bit more sour.  There’s also a much more curdled yogurt that seems to be used at breakfasts, but I haven’t identified it yet.


Granola bars.  The muesli bars are pretty good.  Corny Bars good but clearly toward the less nutritious end of the spectrum.  The generic protein bars are about as awesome as you expect…  They’re pretty awful unless very chilled.  There are also some strange bars around, like a muesli bar that has a really gelatinous, chewy fruit jelly stripe down the middle, quite different from US breakfast bars.  No PowerBars, Clif Bars, or Nature Valley bars to be seen.


At times I can go through a fair amount of Orbit gum.  So far I’ve seen a ton of flavors I’ve never seen in the US, and all of the more interesting US flavors are not available here.  Interestingly, I’ve come across at least three styles of Orbit gum, none of them like the small US strips or their packaging: A chiclet type candy like these, a more pill-like chiclet, and traditional Wrigley style long thin strips.