A freshly arrived expat who visited a Bereldange supermarket on Wednesday was about to buy a container of table salt when she decided it would be best to first check with her expats Facebook group.
“Hi everyone, hope you all are having a lovely day,” said Salomina Brinks, as a sensible but meek voice in her head – one she ignored – told her that salt is salt and that she was setting herself up for ridicule. “I’m relatively new here. I have a question about salt.”
“Could you tell me which is the best brand?” she continued. “Do you have any good or bad experiences? Insider tips?”
Despite the absurdity of the request, the post garnered thousands of comments and sparked hours of passionate debate about prices, labelling, and health benefits. Meanwhile, a Facebook server thousands of kilometers away nearly crashed.
When all was said and done, Brinks narrowed down the choices to a highly recommended German brand of organic Himalayan salt and a relatively unknown brand of French sea salt collected by a man named Alban who lives in a fishing village in Brittany.
Feeling torn, Brinks consulted her Luxembourg expat parents Facebook group, her Luxembourg expectant mums Facebook group, and, inexplicably, her Luxembourg expat diabetic poodle owners Facebook group, but these actions only led to more uncertainty and debate.
Frazzled, Brinks later purchased a two-euro container of table salt from the gas station across the street from her home.
“I just wanted to share with you a terrible experience I had this afternoon,” she later posted to the expats group, recalling how the gas station cashier rolled his eyes when asked if the salt was iodized. “A shop employee refused to answer my questions about a product I was going to buy. Anyone else had this experience? Is there an office I can contact to complain?”