“I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all the kinds of things you can't see from the center.” Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

Friday, October 20, 2006

been shopping

New Zealand, Eric says, is "sometimes open". Most shops, even the malls, close at 5 or 6 pm. The big groceries and "dairies", what we would call a mini-mart, will be open later than this, though. Thursdays are an "open late" night, and you can do your business until, gosh, 7 or 8 pm! Tonight after work I raced into Henderson to pick up my boot at the shoe repair shop. Their idea of extended hours is to close at 6 pm instead of 5. The door was already locked, but the proprietress inside came and let me in. I gave her my pick up slip, and she said “this says Wednesday.” I wasn’t sure why that was relevant, so I said, “yeah, today is Thursday.” I’m so glad to have my warm furry Ugg boots back, and it only cost $6.50 (tear along seam).

My next step was to hit the mall (it’s tiny) and find an electric blanket, because I am still cold. The houses here are generally un-insulated and have just a wood stove for heat. I went into Farmer’s, which is like a Mervyn’s only not as nice. They didn’t have any, so I debated buying a wool duvet insert. I just couldn’t justify it, because I have nice down comforters coming over in the shipping container. That should arrive just in time for summer. I checked with the clerk at the Bed, Bath, and Beyond (a 10th the size of the one in my old neighborhood), and she says they’re out of season. After all, summer is coming, so they say. Tonight the wind is howling, so I’ve taken the portable oil heater and put it in my bedroom to try and warm things up. I’m skeptical though- no insulation.

Some of the shops I’ve been in, I can’t figure out how they stay in business. They have worthless crap for sale that I cannot imagine anyone in their right mind spending hard earned money on. But, you can find some good shopping. Yesterday I discovered the shopping district of Newmarket. There must be more out there, but I haven’t had time to explore. Barb and Eric took me too Avondale market, held on Sunday mornings. Due to the popularity and size of this market the parking costs $2. But you get great deals on fresh produce. I’ve attached a few photos: the little bananas are called Ladyfingers, the kiwifruit are big and delicious, and a general scene. The carrots and asparagus are huge.

Another thing worth mentioning about grocery stores: they have a huge selection of yoghurt. I snapped a photo in the big Foodtown grocery, but this big selection is the rule, not the exception. Barb likes to shop at the little markets (one for fruits and veg., another for meat, another for staples), but I find it comforting to go into the big grocery stores since they're familiar. I found some yummy jams at a local market, and I mix that with plain yoghurt and muesli for breakfast. Delicious.

I have looked but not found plain, non-iodized salt. I’ll ask my Mom to bring some when she visits in February, since I will need to follow the Low Iodine Diet again within a year. I bought a selenium supplement today, because the soils here don’t have much. Selenium has demonstrated effects as an antioxidant and anti-cancer agent.