Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Early Years 2010: Grocery Time

Originally Posted on June 25th, 2010.

Shopping here is like going on a treasure hunt.  It is almost impossible to plan what to buy when going grocery shopping.  My most basic groceries come from a combined 6 shops.  I remember a few months ago when I was annoyed with the "poor selection" of Wal-mart.  When I get back to the states, I'm getting "I love Wal-mart" tattooed on me because I have eaten those words a thousand times. Good fruit is easy to come by here, and a large portion of my diet consists of mangoes, apples, pineapples, and oranges.  In the states, I had a difficult time making unique meals and eating something other than groups of snacks.  Here, I am lucky if I can boil food in a pot because I have no idea how to cook anything.  Making meals here takes a lot of time, ingredients, and skill, none of which I have.

Sanjeev and I walk from out apartment building to the numerous stores several times a week.  We buy what we can find, or if we are lucky, what we can carry.  We often stop at the Mango Bazaar where easily, ten varieties of mangoes can be found.  It's just a simple tent with straw on the ground and piles of mangoes on top of that.  My favorite are the Alphonsos, they are small and their flesh is superbly sweet.  Every time we go to the bazaar, Sanjeev and the guys talk in Hindi, which sounds like they are arguing to me.  I stand by and watch them lean over the piles squeezing mangoes and commenting.

At the shopping centers, we never cease to have to argue with the security guard that our reusable bags are for shopping and we need to take them inside with us.  You never know what you will find in these stores.  Sometimes  I luck out and find things I've been searching for, other times, I have difficultly finding the simplest of things.

In the end, we are lucky to come home with four good sized bags full of groceries.  We trudge a good mile, managing not to get hit by cars, or to trip over various obstacles on the streets.  Some weeks the treasure hunt ends in a beautiful bounty, others, not so much.  In my opinion, Wal-mart has become the treasure where X marks the spot.

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