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  • Writer's pictureNeil Roberts

Back to the Future - Living without Amazon

There have been a few differences to get used to compared to living in London, apart from the obvious language barrier. In UK, we had everything easy to hand, if it wasn’t in the supermarket, then just order it from Amazon and you have it next day. In the first month, I made the mistake of ordering some dog treats from Amazon UK to deliver to us in Czech.



Sounds normal right? But I forgot that because of the joy of Brexit, if you import anything from the UK to the EU, you need to pay tax on it. Now, the amount wasn’t huge but still you need to fill out extra paperwork and pay the bill and it took over 2 weeks to deliver. Not exactly, the quick instant delivery service we were used to. There is Amazon.de, so no tax there but a large delivery fee instead for sending from Germany to Czech. There are online retailers in Czech but you just need to do more research as you can’t rely on one site for all like Amazon.


So due to online being inconsistent, we’ve had to go back to the old ways and browse the shops ourselves. Now the main cities, like Ostrava, have the big shopping malls and everything is in one place. However, Ostrava is 45-minute drive for us so not exactly local. Our nearest town is Trinec, just 10 minutes’ drive, which is much more convenient. There are main supermarkets like Tesco and Albert. However, if you are looking smaller things that supermarkets don’t sell then it becomes a bit of a treasure hunt. You can’t rely on Google as many places don’t have websites, so it’s more of a case of what you find wandering around or through lo


cal contacts. For instance, our dogs eat raw food which is fairly common place in pet shops or online in UK. In Czech, most supermarkets and pet stores only sell dry food. We thought we may need to start making our own dog food using supermarket meat but luckily someone recommended a little store tucked away in town that sells frozen meat for dogs and it’s become our regular now.


Living in the village, getting fresh eggs is never a problem.


Yes, you can buy them in the supermarket but a lot of people in the village have their own chickens. So it’s just a case of finding the people who are willing to sell to you. The price from the locals is slightly more expensive, but we are talking pennies difference, so worth the extra coins to guarantee they are fresh and free-range…


Learnings

1. Don’t focus on online shopping

2. Look for local recommendations from neighbours and friends

3. Find local friendly shops and don’t rely on supermarkets

4. Local village eggs are the best

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