Free Wheeling

In the U.S. I have seen metal shopping carts in lots of places other than grocery stores or grocery store parking lots. I've seen them abandoned in river beds (dry and flowing), along streets and freeways and in random neighborhoods.
Photo Source

Here in Switzerland, and in much of Europe, they don't have the problems associated with shopping carts wandering off. Here you "rent" the cart for your shopping trip.

Each cart is 'chained' to the one in front of it. Put in your coin, in Switzerland 1CHF (equivalent to ~1USD), and your cart is free to wheel around the store.

When you return it, you get your 1CHF back.

With every shopper 'investing' in its use, carts don't normally end up where they don't belong.

Another feature that European shopping carts have that I have never encountered in the U.S. is that these carts 'free wheel' - literally. Most of us have used shopping carts that have two fixed wheels in the rear with two unfixed wheels for steering in the front. Well, here all four wheels are unfixed - moving independent of each other. (And at times, independent of the person pushing it as well!) It has taken some getting used to to 'drive' one of these carts.

Sometimes, I expect to hear, Look out on Aisle 3, Bridget is at the handle! over the loud speaker in the store. But of course it would be in German. 😉

As an extra bonus, today I am including one of my favorite '80's songs, You Spin Me Round, recreated by one of my favorite actors, Paul Rudd. Dead or Alive never sounded (or looked) so good:

There is no way today's poem can top that awesomeness, but I'll give it a spin anyway. (See what I did there?) 

Actually, today's poem is not 'free wheeling' in the mechanical sense, it is more of an insight into a toddler's dizzying logic. (As a side note, toddler logic is universal. I've seen this scene play out in Swiss grocery stores, the 'players' just happen to be speaking German...or French...or Italian...)

I ride in the shopping cart
because Mom makes me.
But I have a plan.

I start to point 
and whine,
"Can I have that, pleeeeease?" 

Then I move on to
kicking the cart and repeating,
"I want it...I want it...I want it..." 

When I get to 
"Gimme, gimme, gimme..." 
at the top of my voice,

Mom. Has. Had. It.

"That's enough!"
Mom swoops me out of the cart.
"You're holding my hand now."

Which is what I wanted all along.
©2019, Bridget Magee. All Rights Reserved.


  1. I’d rather hold your hand than ride in a spinny cart too!

    1. Aw, thanks, Joe. I would have liked you as a toddler, too. =)

  2. We have them here now too in Aldi's, the German store on Grand Ave. in Grover/AG.

    1. Yes, we've shopped at Aldi in Madison, when we visited Germany, and here in Switzerland. I really like Aldi here because it is a cheaper alternative to the Swiss grocery stores...and the fun carts! Thanks for your "free-wheeling" comment, Joan! =)

  3. Interesting to hear about the carts. I wonder how many just don't take one at all? Fun poem. My daughter used to lean & throw things on the floor, one time spaghetti sauce, ugh. Perhaps she was trying to tell me something. . . Jimmy Fallon? I know little about 80s music.

    1. Ouch - spaghetti sauce thrown to the floor of a grocery store would be awful, Linda! Yes, Paul Rudd teams up with Jimmy Fallon periodically to recreate these 80's hits. Yay for 80's music, but I'm glad 80's hair hasn't had a revival. =)


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