Monday, July 23, 2007

on the trials of grocery shopping

I had a good blog pretty well written in my head and then I got the new Harry Potter book unexpectedly early so that messed things up a little. But I want to carry on with my first thought, I'll get to my version of a spoiler later.

In the store on Saturday doing our large shopping for the month. My houseworker Ibu does some shopping every week for the lunches she makes for us monday -friday. So I do shopping for cleaning products, breakfasts and dinners, its a little wierd. I really don't like our kitchen situation much but Ibu helps out a lot by making a large lunch. Then I trot off to school and am home in time to try to decide, do I make my family a nice dinner or do my mountain of homework. Normally to some extent the homework wins because I've yet to have time to conquer the market like I had in Africa. That and I don't know where the meat market is. That sounds really pathetic but meat isn't sold in the groceries up here, and there aren't butchers everywhere. Frankly, I've yet to figure it all out. It would be a great language experience but without transport I don't know how to get there. Anyway that is our grocery situation and I can't wait till it changes.

So my large shopping trip was saturday in which I buy a months supply of big and heavy things. Rice (5kg bag), bunches of cereal, oil, milk (really uht), canned goods (not many but some), cleaning supplies etc. and I have the checker boys box it up and I take a horse cart home. An experience that always leaves me feeling bad for the horse. But on these shopping trips I'm still reading the labels and looking at all of the options for the product I want to buy. I buy air fresheners for our bathrooms, they have an open pipe for drains and so we get a little smell in the mornings when they get dry. Anyway, loads of air freshener to choose from. I have no idea which one is best but because I know Glade from the US that is what I buy. Oil (which is another story) is available in liter and 2 liter containers and then 4 liter jugs, then you can buy refill bags of it to refill your containers. For some reason I buy Sania, its the brand I bought the first time and for some reason I won't buy another brand. Rice is tough, there is a brand people say is best but there are different types from that same brand. The bags all look the same, so I've asked Ibu to write down the kind I'm supposed to buy. Then the milk I've decided randomly by the look on the box which is better. Cleaning products and health/ beauty are the same. Pepsodent is what I buy for toothpaste because I remember it. SOS I've decided must be the best floor cleaner because I know it from the states.

I was thinking about how curious it is how I've decided to buy things and where I buy them at. I don't know if they are the best options, probably everybody else who can read everything on the label chooses something else. One of our first weeks here, Ibu ran out of bathroom cleaner. I went to the store and try to find what she showed me. I didn't know many stores at the time and so I went to the one that wasn't so good for grocery shopping. Anyway I couldn't find what she showed me and so I bought several other options, all of them I think could be used for bathrooms but were really floor cleaners. She just know finished all of the those off.
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