WorldlyShopper was conceived out of frustration and hope.

My first time  visiting the Alcazar in Seville I was escaping the Andalusian heat at the counter of the little Alcazar café with a bottle of water. A few seats down was a very frustrated New Yorker was trying, to no avail, to communicate with the barista in English. Finally he burst out with

“Why can’t a guy find a god damn pastrami sandwich in this god damn country?!”

Very smugly I thought to myself, “Well, Pastrami Guy, it’s because you’re not in the U.S. You are in Spain and they eat different stuff here.” After a few years of successfully maintaining this hoity-toity, holier than thou malarkey I became the ‘Pastrami Guy’.

In December 2008, I spent a month in Seville, Spain. While there I was delighted to be able to rent an apartment a few blocks away from my son and his family.  It was the best of both my favorite things: spending time with family and spending time alone.

I had been there for a week and I was in the mood to have cornbread with my dinner. I needed flour, cornmeal, butter, and milk. I thought flour is something like farina, I know milk and butter. Corn is maiz, right? This should be pretty simple. Well I ended up with cornstarch, the wrong kind of flour, and the wrong type milk. I did get the butter right though.

It was frustrating to say the least. After all, I studied Spanish and made every attempt to improve my ability to communicate with people. I had my phrase book and dictionary. I was doing every thing right. But for crying out loud

“Why can’t a guy find some god damn cornmeal in this god damn country!!!?”

My ‘Pastrami Guy’ moment lead to,  “I gotta do something to make shopping easier for myself.” And thus, the idea for WorldlyShopper’s ShopSpain was born. Siblings, ShopFrance and ShopItaly, are in the works.

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