Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Depends on the ship

You may have gathered already from my previous posts that I live in a small coastal town although previously being a city dweller at heart. One thing I’ve learned is that certain food items I took for granted in the city are not so easy to find in this small place. These items are not your necessity items, it’s the other stuff like certain types of cheese, a decent chocolate bar, highlands grown vegetables (cauliflower, capsicums, etc) and sometimes that particular food item you crave. Such as fresh peas (pause to utter a long sigh).

Yesterday I tried to explain to someone where to find cake ingredients and without realizing gave her a detailed explanation of which ingredients to get where and that only one store in town sold soft icing sugar and ‘you had better stock up because once it runs out you won’t find it for a while’. I had to stop myself chuckling as I’m starting to sound like a local (bear in mind my definition of a local is someone who has spent more than 5 years continuously in one spot, place of origin not counted). When I first arrived here I had no idea how I was going to bake anything, where I was going to find Orchy or if I ever was going to eat another cherry ripe again. A year down the track, I’m happily baking, Orchy is easy to find and have found that a certain pharmacy regularly stocks up on Cadbury chocolates and my beloved Cherry Ripes. I’ve even located Jubes, yes those hard sugar coated jelly fruity sweets, oh immeasurable joy. I actually shrieked when I found Jubes on the supermarket sweet shelf much to the embarrassment of accompanying relatives who gave each other that ‘she’s a city kid’ look.

Even vegetables are easier to find these days. I found out that supplies of vegetables for certain supermarkets arrive once a month on a particular cargo ship. This has made vegetable shopping infinitely easier as all I have to do is check when the ship arrives, wait a day or two to allow for unloading and then buy in bulk at the supermarket. Brilliant isn’t it? At this point you should visualize the pleased at myself large grin on my face. Previously I had to resort to multivitamin supplements for my diet, it’s so much nicer to actually taste green leafy vegetables then take a pill.

I also found out there is a second hand shop here in town. For those of you either Papua New Guinean in origin or have a long acquaintance with our nation, you would realize by now that second hand shopping ‘em kaikai yah’ (an almost national pastime). For the rest of you, a second hand shop is somewhat like a thrift shop or one of those charity shops that sell donated old clothes and whatnot. After a lengthy conversation with the shop keeper (you’ll find I like indulging in random conversations of a curious nature with strangers), I found out that they also rely on a certain shipping line (not the same as the supermarket grocery supplies come from) to bring in their bales of second hand clothes so hence another devised plan to wait for the ship to come in.

Many people tell me I could always get stuff in Indonesia (across the border) but being wholly patriotic and believing in buying in Papua New Guinea, I shall stick to waiting for a ship to come in. Almost anything can be bought here; it just depends on the ship.

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