So, I just visited my new grocery store, Aldi. It’s a German chain — and definitely a bit of a culture shock.

First off, you’ve got to pay a quarter to get a shopping cart (see photo below.) Didn’t really understand that but went with it. There’s no hand baskets either, so you either pay up or walk around the store with a handful of goods.

The store has an odd selection of merchandise — normal grocery items with some toys, clothes and the occasional 600-watt power generator mixed in.

At the check-out, the clerk wasn’t German. I was disappointed, but I said “Guttentach” anyway. She said, “There’s no Germans working here. We’re mostly just African-American.” Hilarious.

She rang up my merchandise and then put everything back in my cart. No bags. She explained that helped keep their prices low. Makes sense, plus a lot of stores are going bagless anyway — for environmental reasons.

So, I walked back to my car and put my items in some old “Trader Joe” bags. Then I thought about just pushing my cart off to the side as usual.

Eureka!

If I wanted my quarter back, I’d have to return the cart to the store entrance.

Those Germans are brilliant.