Saturday, February 14, 2009

The joys of peanut butter and soy sauce

Saturday, Sr. Annette (who is British) took Aubrie and I to this grocery store that sold all sorts of western products. I bought peanut butter, pancake mix, cheese slices, nutella, macaroni and cheese, and soy sauce. Just thinking about all my food makes me giddy. Today for lunch there was a dish consisting of potatoes, greenbeans, carrots and tomatoes. Aubrie shared her recently purchased tobasco sauce and it's amazing how much better lunch tasted after that. For dessert we broke into the peanut butter and Nutella and it was almost like being at home.

After we got back from the grocery store, Sr. Amarachi took us to the largest market in Enugu. There you can buy everything from dried fish heads to clothes to little green parrots. The market consists of rows and rows of tiny closet sized stalls that snake around making it easy to get lost. First we stopped to buy some fabric to give as a birthday present to one of the nuns. Then we went looking for some jeans for Aubrie (she found some nice ones for roughly ten bucks). Next we stopped at a stand with beads and necklaces. After that we split up; Aubrie went to look at shoes, Sister went to buy some vegetables, and I went to buy a coke.

If you have never been to an African market, I suggest you try it some time. It is quite the experience. If you are white then everyone assumes you have money to burn and will stop at nothing to get your attention. Most shop owners will blow kisses or hiss at you. One guy started singing to me. But what I found infuriating is that the most persistent shop owners will grab your arm and attempt to pull you into their stall. I find it bad enough that you have to avoid the shopkeepers but you also have to dodge the people pushing wheelbarrows down the narrow aisles. In the market there is also a lot of haggling. Sister Amarachi spent ten minutes haggling over the price of pineapples and when the owner refused to come down she finally walked away. We made it halfway down the aisle before the lady came running after us to accept our offer. Going to the market beats shopping at Walmart any day.

Happy Valentine's Day.

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