“Why is this called Grocery 1?” you may wonder. Because there is so much to see, notice, and tell about grocery stores of course! What we buy to cook and eat is a reflection of ourselves and our culture. In America, I love a ramble through the supermarket – even more so while traveling. Plus, if I tell myself this is part of a series I will feel less pressure to sum it all up in just one post!
I should start out by saying that grocery shopping here looks pretty much like it does anywhere in the U.S. – the carts, the aisles, the sections…even most of the food choices are very familiar. But there are little surprises tucked in here and there that bring questions and delight!
My colleagues at the Fargo Adult Learning Center will get a kick out of this one! Our students regularly offer coconut chunks like these to teachers during break time. Look, here they are all packaged up in containers and ready to go.
And eggs… we hold it almost sacred in the U.S. that eggs MUST be refrigerated. Here they are on a cart out in the open and it even instructs right on the package that they can be kept at “ambient temperatures.” People living anywhere who keep chickens know this but it’s interesting to rethink what we have come to accept as the right way to do things.
As a vegetarian, I don’t often spend much time looking in the meat department. But it’s hard to miss here…and will definitely have to feature in another post. It’s clear from the options available and the quantities that South Africans love their meat! The rest of my family has enjoyed trying ostrich steaks and warthog.
I find it amazing to see all the different cuts that we don’t find in America. It certainly gives one pause to consider why there are so many parts of animals that Americans do not eat…and what happens to them.
And then there are Stikeez. Our regular grocery chain, Pick-N-Pay, has been running this promotional for the last month across the country – for every R150 spent (about $13.00) you get one of these. “24 designs, collect them all, buy the collector’s album…” etc.
This is the sort of thing that drives me crazy back home – the constant accumulation of what we call “UPOs” (Unnecessary Plastic Objects). You know what I’m talking about – prizes and rewards from festivals, holidays, and parties that clutter our counters until we decide to add them to the landfill.
But I’ll admit, this Mom has fallen for it hook, line, and sinker! Is it that we brought so few actual toys along that this has been a nice substitute? Or the joy I get seeing the kids comparing and trading them at school? Maybe it’s just satisfying to get caught up in the excitement of a fad as if I were a local.
We have also discovered that they can spice up violin practice considerably. You’d be amazed how well the pinky cooperates in reaching those high notes when a giraffe is on the look out, or how quickly the bow sticks to its “highway” alongside the bridge with a penguin on the watch! We have plenty of these already, with another two weeks to go of this promotional… what to do with the extras. Perhaps Ms. Sarah and her violin students in Fargo would like a few sent their way?