When I was 5, my dad was stationed at Ramstein, Germany. We used to go shopping “on the economy” all the time (that means not at the BX or Commissary). I remember this knick knack store in Kaiserslattern that used to hand kids little bags of Gummi Bears as they walked in the door to keep their little hands occupied and off the merchandise. It was a great idea. My little brother and I loved going to that store.
They had bins of cheap plastic toys at ground level that we’d sift through while mom perused the nutcrackers, cuckoo clocks and other German trinkets. We’d usually get to pick out one to take home with us (after mom paid for it of course, which never crossed our minds back then). It was a great little world I lived in back then, with bins of plastic cars, airplanes and animals immersed in the bonging and chirping of a thousand cheap cuckoo clocks.