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Wholey Alcohol, Geofftech!

WholefoodsWelcome back to work then, hope you had a nice day off.

Shopping beckoned yesterday, and because the only place that sells Tofu sausages (so that I can cook Leigh traditional Bangers & Mash one night this week) is Whole Foods, it was back to spend our entire paycheck again one go. The gag being that it’s so expensive to shop there, that it costs your whole months salary.

Well they must have cottoned onto the fact perhaps that people think they’re pricey, as I spotted this sign yesterday which basically could have just read “We do not want you making a note of our prices”. Trouble is, with my camera in my pocket, the petulant teenager instantly wanted to take a photo the moment I saw this – and so I did.

WholefoodsIt got me thinking though. You can’t take photos, you can’t write them down – would it perfectly ok to memorise them?

And suddenly I wished to be Tom Cruise with an autistic Dustin Hoffman in tow who could make a mental note of every price in his head, and perhaps even tell the cashier the total of my goods the moment we got to the checkout.

Still – you generally get what you pay for in the world, and I give them 10 out of 10 for having the most reliably solid and steerworthy trolley (cart) I have ever used in my entire life. No wobbly wheels here!

I also discovered another South Carolina state anomaly whilst I was here. I was looking for the exceptionally good Belgian beer ‘Kwak(which I’ve drunk over here before) when an assistant asked if he could help me. It turns out that they don’t stock it … because it’s too strong!

You can’t have a beer in South Carolina that is over 6% in terms of the alcoholic content. I then remembered that the last time I’d bought Kwak had indeed been when I was up in North Carolina earlier in the year – it’s ok to sell it there, and in 44 other states, but not here – yet another oddity about this weird and wonderful state I now find myself living in … not that SC is alone in having strange laws.

35 responses to “Wholey Alcohol, Geofftech!”

  1. I can F5 now that Geoff is on Mainland time! woo hoo.

    I think Whole Foods’ no camera/photo policy is a little militant and I can’t imagine how they’d enforce it. What a way to treat their customers!

    A question: Is Whole Foods more or less spendy than Sainsbury’s?

  2. P.S. There are two states missing on that map you have of the U.S. Mainland on your sidebar. I wonder which two are missing?? 😉

  3. Bob Hannent says:

    Stuck with weak American beer, ARGHHHHH!! Still there is always Vodka.

    Also, I’ve taken note of what I can’t do to either my girlfriend or any mooses that I find.

  4. Fimb says:

    #3 And Tequila 😉

    But, from what I gather, they still only have one variety of vaguely nasty tofu sausages.. One thing I am very thankful here si the wide range of vege sausages.. especially the Taifun Tofu-Wiener (a gorgeous tofu frankfurther).

  5. Convict says:

    You think America has weird laws. Here in Queensland Australia, it is illegal to drive around a round-a-bout 18 times. 17 times is perfectly fine, but 18, and you’ve broken the law.

  6. I fear that tofu sausages are contrary to traditional bangers and mash. What you need is a pig.

    Whole food market only seem to ban you from writing it on paper. Not on anything else that happens to be around, for instance, your skin.

  7. James (510) says:

    Do you have a gun, or do you just not go to church?

  8. geofftech says:

    #7 – Praise the Lord (not!) James. I have no holy tendancies.

    #2 = Kris, what i haven’t tried if seeing if my TomTom can navigate to Hawaii! What’s your ZIP again? I can see it now .. “Drive to west coast, load car on boat, sail west for two weeks”. Total time = 379 hours, 12 minutes. And don’t forget to turn right.

  9. CV says:

    Excellent to hear that you are addicted to Kwak! I think it might’ve been me that introduced you to the wonderful stuff and it’s strange round-bottomed glass. Just picked up a few bottles in the ‘Auchan’ supermarket in Calais yesterday afternoon in fact, on our way back from the south of france. Cheers! (or

  10. CV says:

    oops. sorry, the “(or” at the end of the message was going to be whatever the belgians say instead of ‘Cheers’, but I couldn’t find it in 1 min of googling at work, so submitted it anyway. For some reason (and I’m expecting some browser-choice type jibes), I can’t see the last few chars of the text box where you write the messages, even when scrolled right over…

  11. daniel says:

    Let me steer you away from Whole Paycheck and toward the slightly less absurd West Ashley Earthfare. It has a lovely assortment of meatless sausages, all sorts of bulk foods (some of them even reasonably priced!), and one actually gets the sense that one is buying groceries, rather than browsing in a tony boutique.

  12. Skarlett says:

    actually the no camera policy is quite popular-at least in LA.
    Most stores try and be uber stylish and don’t want competitors taking their design ideas, or copying them.

    I’ve been in clothing shops where tourists were kicked out for taking photos of some interior-

  13. Paul Webb says:

    Do you not get itemised receipts after paying? Or do you get your own Dustin Hoffman to take home with you to tell you what you spent?

  14. geofftech says:

    Available to download now from the WholeFoods website. A “Mini Hoffman” – that it’s an inch and a half high, sits on your desktop, and interperets an RSS feed of their latest prices as they arrive at your desktop.

  15. Lisa says:

    If you do wander over to Earthfare (the South Windermere one) – make sure to pick up a few dark chocolate Bug Bites at the check lane. (Drool like Homer) Man, they are succulent! There is also a scrumptuous chocolate isle…calling for YOU!

  16. geofftech says:

    Okay, okay, okay .. it now sounds as if I do have to go to Earthfare then! I promise I will go – ‘soon’. Sounds like I can stock up on Candy Bars for the week at the very least! thanks…

  17. 5. We saw a sign on Hollywood Blvd. last week that said anyone passing by a certain light more than 3 times would be subject to a ticket. No “cruising” is apparently the infraction. It seems unconstitutional!

    8. 96704. I think that big American SUV you are driving now can also double as a boat.

  18. Leslie says:

    Pity about not being able to get Kwak… 🙁 I get it here in Texas quite frequently.

    Try getting some other Belgian beers that are below that cutoff point, or finding some good microbrews. There IS decent beer to be had in the states, you just have to look around!

    God, Whole Foods. I remember when it was just a tiny shop in here in Austin. In fact, 25 years ago this weekend it completely flooded and had to be gutted and redone. They seem to have recovered. 😉

  19. Peter says:

    #6 (re: bangers + mash) – I was going to say that – what’s Tofu got to do with proper bangers + mash?

    Tofu is horrible, evil stuff.

    That’s all I have to say on the matter.

  20. zuzula says:

    weak beer? good lord. dare i ask about the wine situation?!

  21. jaq says:

    Another Briton I know who moved to a ‘southern state’ mentioned this campaign about the 6% beer laws:

  22. Ciaran says:

    Geoff, you can’t hold your beer anyway ya big poof so its probably a good thing they don’t sell strong beer.

  23. geofftech says:

    #22 – Eloquent to the last as always Mr Byrne!

  24. Another Chris says:

    Re. the point of banning the usage of cameras in store, does anyone here know if it’s illegal to take photos inside shops here in the UK, out of interest?

    I don’t think I’ve ever been stopped from taking photos in store, although I have heard that some people have been thrown out the store and/or told off for doing so – I think the chain in question was Dixons (or whatever they call themselves now). I think if I ever do get “busted”, then I’ll bring out the good old “school/college/university work” excuse.

  25. Paul Webb says:

    #24 – I work in museums and there are certainly issues about taking photos in them, not so much for security reasons (everyone know that all museums have a web of lazer triggered alarms like in ‘Entrapment’) but ‘cos of child protection. It is a sad world at times.

  26. Lisa says:

    #25 ‘Cos of child protection in a museum? I must be naive! I have been stopped from taking photos in a museum in Costa Rica, but that was only because I didn’t know how to turn off the flash and I was told the flash could ruin the artifacts…

  27. Paul Webb says:

    #26- Yes, I’m never sure whether it really protests the children or protects the Attendents from over protective parents who complain about somebody taking a photo within 100 yards of they little darlings, but there you go.

    And flashes can damage some artifacts.

  28. Paul says:

    #24 I filmed my mate in the Adidas shop on my camcorder and got told off … no sense of humo(u)r some people.

    Hey Geoff, did you notice I spelt “humor” for you the American way?! I figured you could have the best of both worlds!

  29. Kirk says:

    If you take picures in cinemas, you’re likely to get moaned at. The distributors get a bit uppity if any of their posters/standees/banners/promotional crap gets photographed for some reason.

  30. Shops, Cinemas, Museums are all private property, so they can say what they like.

  31. c.terry says:

    For “Strange laws of the U.K” try

  32. geofftech says:

    Right, i’ll just get my longbow….

  33. Shell says:

    On the subject of ridiculous laws, did you know that in Charleston The Fire Department has the authority to blow up anyone’s house and prisoners may be charged a dollar for their journey to jail. And throughout the whole of South Carolina it is illegal to crawl around the public sewer system without a written permit from the relevant authority – bear that in mind in case you ever get tempted! You should be aware that in Lancaster County dancing in public is not allowed and if you ever go to Spartanburg, bear in mind that it is an offence to eat watermelons in the Magnolia Street cemetery. I’m sure that many a mourner has come a cropper to that law!

  34. Stuart says:

    Both North Carolina and Georgia have abolished their equivalent beer laws.

    Good luck on your beer hunt (says expat Brit in Alabama who is going to Atlanta to buy beer from Greens Beverages!)

  35. geofftech says:

    Stu… see if Greens sell “Kwak” whilst your there!

    Shell… i think fire services the world over have the power to do a lot of things if need be. i.e. if a car is blocking an access point and the fire engine/truck needs to get past to get to an emergency, then they’ll just smash straight through it – no question. i’ve heard of that happening a couple of times back home

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