I also bought another dress which I thought might be a bit tight but I couldn’t really understand the dressing room options, so I just bought it, for I think about $6. (I tried it on at home, almost had to use scissors to get it back off and will now be giving it to a new friend.) But what I really wanted, even needed, was a shower caddy. (Talk about rotten spoiled Americans.) Are we the only ones with shower caddies? Only the other American in the group knew what I was talking about. But my shower stall is just bumpy, rough concrete and it’s damaging my soap and razor. (Poor Judy) So I found a plastic baskety thing which would do the job and it now sits useless on my bathroom sink because there’s no way to hang it and I tried to come up with something for hours (20 minutes.) So now I’m searching for a hook that sticks to tile. No idea what shop that would be in, but they must have one.
So on the way home the next day, I walked down what looked like a short alley of shops sort of like Saba Saba. It wasn’t like that at all, it was a labyrinth. I was by myself, at the end of the day when surely the vendors are tired, wearing my giraffe dress which makes me look like a tourist who is trying not to look like a tourist, the worst kind. The merchandise was not appealing and I couldn’t find an exit for the life of me. So on and on I walked until I came to see what looked like an open field in the distance! Very happy, I entered the field to notice that it was empty save for several people talking rather angrily at one another, very unusual here, and a guard who approached me just as I realized that the whole place was surrounded by barbed wire. He kindly escorted me back to the shopping center where a kind man took pity on me and, after his son accidentally peed on my feet, showed me to a different exit. From there I could see the statue thing I mentioned before and I could find my way home. As I’ve said, they are very kind, helpful people, and the more pitiful you look, the more so.
If you want great produce, you’ll get it from one of the many (usually) women you’ll pass on the way to and from work who sell any fruit or vegetable in season, eggs, spices, grains, cloth, and so on. Passing vendors (usually men or young boys) with push cart vehicles can sell you soda, toilet paper, nuts, washing powder, and other necessities.
I think we can learn a lot from the shopping here. The Farm to Table movement, while wonderful, would probably seem pretty weird here. What the heck else are you going to put on your table? Eat local! Guess what? You’re gonna. You’re going to eat food that was grown, raised, bred, harvested by people you know, who live down the road. Grocery stores themselves are very small but have what you need. (Let’s be honest: do I really NEED a shower caddy?) I’ve yet to see a grocery store here that is a fraction the size of our pet stores. Which seems pretty screwed up to me. And yes, they have pets here, and not chickens- dogs, cats. And when you think about it, I bet the local people who get the surely small profits probably have better uses for them then the folks at home who get the giant profits from large corporations, when perhaps they’ve never had to work.
So, my news is: I like shopping now. After work, I need to pick up a carton of as yet unrefrigerated milk, a kilo of sugar, and some eggs from the lady outside my office. And I’m using my real wallet.