Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Rainy Day...

Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Lay around the house day                  

Today is rainy and gray. We decided yesterday since the forecast was bleak we would stay home. If we go to the institution on a rainy day they make us sit inside with Sterling in this tiny little room. He doesn’t like it and his behavior is so vastly different from the happy little guy we know, so we decided to stay home, go to the market, and do laundry. Exciting huh?

We started laundry last night. They have washers in country but no dryers. So we have clothes hanging all over the house. It is cold and rainy outside so we can’t hang them out there. Hopefully they dry soon because we have another load to do. Lucky for us we brought our own laundry detergent. We brought the Purex sheets. They look like dryer sheets but are detergent. You just throw them in the wash with the clothes. They are much easier than trying to figure out this washing machines detergent holder. I think we brought 10 or so. Should be plenty.

Our driver picked us up at 10 am and off we went to Billa. We tried to walk it yesterday but went walking the wrong direction. We also weren’t sure how far it was so we figured better to drive this time. Now that we have driven it and we know where it is and how far it is, we can walk it for sure. It’s probably about a mile to a mile and half away. Mind you we can’t walk it after purchasing heavy stuff, but if we get things as we need, it will be a nice stroll.

Billa is a “real” supermarket. Kind of like Publix but smaller. We were so happy to have some choices! We figured out how to bag and price our own produce. Here, you put your produce in a produce bag and then go to a computer with a scale attached. You put your produce on the scale and find (on the touchscreen) the correlating number for the product you are buying. Then it weighs it and spits out a sticker that you put on your bag. That way, the cashier doesn’t have to weigh or type in any numbers. She just reads the label to make sure it’s correct and scans the price sticker. Pretty cool, huh?

Produce here is inexpensive. Here is a sampling of what we bought today:

Bananas: 4 bananas cost us $1
Onion: 1 onion cost us 15 cents
Garlic: 2 bulbs of garlic were 15 cents
Tomatoes: 4 vine ripened tomatoes were about 45 cents
Clementines: 3 clementines cost us 85 cents
Potatoes: 3 potatoes were 13 cents

Rice, flour, couscous, sugar etc is all sold in “barrels”. You scoop however much you want into a bag and weigh that the same way as produce. Some pretzels, cookies and snacks are sold the same way.
We bought ¾ of a pound of rice for 35 cents and a bag of poppy seed pretzels for 45 cents.

Once you make your way through the produce you hit the dairy and eggs section. Good news, eggs here were refrigerated. Not that it would have mattered. I think I had 5 or 6 different people weigh in on the great egg concern and the verdict is they don’t have to be refrigerated. Who knew? So we bought a dozen eggs and we hunted for milk. Rachel Center (who is in country with me) sent me a picture of the milk she buys. Found it…it still doesn’t taste like milk. We have now tried 4 or 5 different kinds of milk and can’t find the milk we are used to at home. The one we got today (the one Rachel told us about) is definitely the closest. But it tastes like really watered down milk. I did find (drum roll please) chocolate milk – Nesquick. That I know will taste fine. I miss my milk. LOL. We also think we managed to find sour cream for our potatoes. We will see…

We weaved our way through the bakery and deli where we bought bread, ham (the worker spoke English!) and cheese. Then we wandered over to the meat department. This was trickier. We did buy chicken breasts (for dinner tonight) and we bought what we thought was ground beef for chili. But, when we got home and opened it, we aren’t sure it’s ground beef. It may be sausage (smells like sausage). It may be lamb (which we doubt – there was a picture of a cow on the sign).  Truth be told we don’t know what we bought. ;p But we will find out soon enough. Good thing Brian is a willing guinea pig!

We completed our shopping getting a few luxury items: a Hawaiian pizza from the freezer section, some potato chips (the chips/crisps here are by far some of the best I’ve ever had) and we also bought more juice, Coke for Brian, and water (a staple – seeing as how the water here cannot be ingested. We even brush our teeth with bottled water.)

All in all our shopping trip was a success!! And we won’t need to go back for a while. Brian is excited because as soon as I post this blog I told him I would make him a grilled ham and cheese. He is rather thrilled about that. Tonight we feast! Chicken and rice with veggies! YAY! (Update: the grilled cheese (for me) and the grilled ham and swiss (for Brian) were delicious!)

Sorry we have no pictures today! Tomorrow though we will be back at the institution to visit Sterling. That court day is coming fast! Hooray! I think we are on par to be home the weekend of October 22nd. Keep your fingers crossed!

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