Weird consumer behavior

For years now Limassol is inhabbited with crowds of Russian people. There are so many of us that many locals somewhat speak the language, many restaurants offer menus in Russian, as well as shops have “special” price lists.

One of the sides of the strong Russian community is a number of “Russian” shops. These are rather small shops that sell all sorts of goods that many Russian people miss. Mostly those are books by suicidal novelists and food items like caviar, pelmeni, and vodka.

For years, both Olga and I were going to visit one of this shops just to see if there was anything that we’d like to buy. We always knew practically the complist price list, because so many of our friends shop in these places regularly and tell us all about them. But we never got our act together. Either we were to lazy, or didn’t care much – I am not sure.

Our shopping routine was almost rock solid for all this years. A weekly trip to Woolworth Ermes covered almost all our food needs. Nearby bakery supplied us with fresh bread. And when we felt like and adventure we would sneak into the enemy’s camp go shopping to either Chris Cash & Carry or Orphanides.

Guess what have changed last week? You’ll never do, as we were surprised ourselves. Our best and favourite supermarket Ermes opened a small section with products for that Russian market. Some of the products are imported directly from Russia – cereals, beer, bread. Others bought from European countries that have so many Russians that it is economically feasable to produce those goods – canned mushrooms, tomatos, and meat.

When we discovered this Russian shelf near the butcher’s section were were laughing out loud. They say that if gnome won’t come to the mountain, the mountain will come to gnome. True indeed.

Now we have even fewer reasons to go shopping at another supermarket. Not only we have everything we need in Ermes, but we surely have more.

P.S.: Russian beer sucks big time. Canned (salted or marinated) mushrooms imported from Germany are pretty good. Canned (salted) tomatos are superb! Just in case you were wondering.

3 thoughts on “Weird consumer behavior”

  1. There must be a lot of Russians in Larnaka too. We went to our local Metro supermarket as usual on Friday, and they had a new shelf full of Russian products too. I didn’t know what most of them were, though.

    We have an Ermes store too, but it’s not very close to where we live and we’ve only been in there once since it stopped being Woolworths. we find the food prices there so much more expensive than anywhere else that we’ve never bought groceries there! Maybe in Limassol it’s different.

  2. Sue,

    No, in Limassol it is exactly the same – Ermes has the highest prices of them all, as far as I can remember. But we still like it because the food section is rather small, though with all the selection that we need. Every time we go to Chris Cash & Carry or Orphanides we spend a lot of time just walking around looking for stuff.

    About Russians – yeah, there are a lot of us on the island. I knew a few people in Larnaca myself.

    With products though – don’t be afraid to try. There is nothing ‘gross’ from what I can tell. Preserved vegetables (salted or marinated) are pretty common for many Northern countries where there is no way to keep them on the table all year around.

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