During my travels abroad, I was obsessed with supermarkets. As hard as I tried, I couldn’t shake my deep-seated Ugly American tendencies, making the names of products on shelves endlessly amusing. I got so carried away that a suspicious security guard in Hanoi escorted me and my camera out the door. Eventually, Sarah forbade me to bring the camera in, and I was forced to do actual shopping rather than snicker at the tiny cultural differences that bring out the 19-year-old boy in me…

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Foreign Grocery Stores and the Ugly American

During my travels abroad, I was obsessed with supermarkets. As hard as I tried, I couldn’t shake my deep-seated Ugly American tendencies, making the names of products on shelves endlessly amusing. I got so carried away that a suspicious security guard in Hanoi escorted me and my camera out the door. Eventually, Sarah forbade me to bring the camera in, and I was forced to do actual shopping rather than snicker at the tiny cultural differences that bring out the 19-year-old boy in me…

During my travels abroad, I was obsessed with supermarkets. As hard as I tried, I couldn’t shake my deep-seated Ugly American tendencies, making the names of products on shelves endlessly amusing. I got so carried away that a suspicious security guard in Hanoi escorted me and my camera out the door. Eventually, Sarah forbade me to bring the camera in, and I was forced to do actual shopping rather than snicker at the tiny cultural differences that bring out the 19-year-old boy in me.

But before that happened, though, I snapped these.

I don’t know if it’s the way it’s coiled like a snake, the hilariously literal name, or the proper British empire spelling, but this one had me laughing. “No, Daddy, I don’t want 50 Centimetres of Licorice! I want one 1 Metre of Licorice!”

I keep picturing this optimistic-looking mascot, presumably the titular Cheezel himself, making the difficult Hole-journey to the cheezel pile at the bottom of the box, before wondering if he would’ve been happier as a Mini instead. The minis box looks like a party whereas the Holes box looks like a glum gathering of non-ambulatory rocks.

Is it a cracker? A cookie? A mini-burger? Something else? Lord only knows, but apparently whatever In a Biskit is, it has scientifically proven munchie-stopping power—and that is enough for Australian consumers. Note the mysterious steam that appears to be emanating from the “burgers” on the lower-left corner. Pondering its meaning certainly halts my munchies.

Rolls right off the tongue, don’t it? “You know what I could go for right now? A great big glass of cold refreshing Sustagen!” French vanilla, of course.

The Aussies love to call breakfast “Brekky,” which is charming. Slightly less charming is this murky concoction, which, if you believe the label, includes various apples, oranges, pineapples, buttons, and something that appears to be either a plum or a freakishly large blueberry.

Something about this ominous Chocolate Hare Wall made Hannah cry. I think it’s because some of the rabbits’ eyes follow you wherever you go.

There is something very subversive going on here. “Creaming” I can deal with, but not paired with the haunting scene on that bottle. What act is the purple-haired dwarf in the picture committing with Kirk, the mustachioed soda pop salesman? Is this how he pays for his Creaming Soda?

“So chumpy you can carve it!” barks this adorable schnauzer, and you’d almost believe him if he didn’t promptly saunter off and dry heave in his dog bowl for 15 minutes before steeling himself to hawk more of this revolting blue-toned Lamb Chum.

Loved this cheerily alliterative sales pitch, mostly because it took me so long to figure it out.  I kept reading it as “Kite Kat” and finally had to sound it out. Then there’s the concerned-looking Kat himself, who appears to have just learned that the Krunch contained therein comes from the bones of Kats themselves. You’re next, buddy boy!

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