Hello again from the Big Blue!
It was with a heavy heart that I watched the supply ship leave this month. Every month the ship brings fewer and fewer grocery products. The island runs out of petrol at least two weeks before the next ship is due to arrive, the grocery shelves resemble those of communist Russia, and the hardware store is only useful if you plan on building something out of twine and barbeque tongs.
With the way things are going, by September, the ship will arrive and off load a fleet of trucks that will drive around the island and actually take food and supplies off the shelves. Suddenly those survivalist camps in Oregon, with bunkers full of tinned food, have become appealing.
The produce department, three days before the ship arrived
The amazing, bendable, Aitutaki carrots…
I almost bought this cabbage out of pity…
To further extend our suffering, the ship that supplies the island has added two more islands to its route, meaning we will now have to wait an extra two weeks for our next shipment of nothing.
What baffles me is the priorities of shopkeepers here. Our big grocery store recently underwent a facelift. All of the shelving and checkouts were repositioned, new signs were put up, the old door was boarded over and a bigger, fancier, glass door was put in, a new awning was built, and the whole store now has a very feng shui feel to it. Oh, the store is still half empty but at least it has a good “energy” and shoppers can more easily move through the bleak aisles.
While grocery shopping, I’ve come to adopt a routine. I’ll walk through the entire store, (which takes all of about five minutes), come to the end, look at my list with only two or three of the twenty items crossed off, think ‘Oh, maybe I just didn’t look hard enough’, and repeat the process all over again. Every now and then, a store employee will come upon me staring at a shelf. “Can I help you with something?” they’ll ask. I’ll say, “No thanks, I’m just using my psychic powers to make a package of bagels appear out of thin air.”
My attempts to will food into existence have not, as of yet, been successful. I’ll keep you updated.
Along with my desperate grocery store routine, I have also adopted a desperate fridge routine. This involves opening the fridge, staring at the contents, closing the fridge, opening the fridge to see if magic elves have added anything new, letting out a long sigh and closing the fridge again. I am the definition of optimism. I really do believe that one day, I will open the fridge door that second time and, wow, look, a dish of lamb souvlaki! How did that get in there? Thank you magic fridge elves!
Don’t get me wrong, there is “stuff” on the store shelves, just not stuff I’d classify as food. Coca Cola, tinned corn beef, meat pies, potato chips and cookies never seem to run out. This is good because, as we all know, the base of the nutrition pyramid is “fizzy” foods, with “pie” type foods on top of that.
Since the café down the road from us closed – another disturbing trend these days is restaurant closures – we no longer have a place to indulge ourselves in a quick, crappy, cheap burger. One day, after a morning of work, Prez broke down bought us a couple of meat pies for lunch. The only flavour available was bacon and egg. There’s something not right, to me, about putting one’s breakfast in a pie. French toast pie? Rice Crispies pie? No. Wrong. Worse still, is eating a breakfast pie for lunch.
I pulled out one of the egg pieces to examine it. This was a mistake. “I wonder how they get it to stay so firm?” I asked. I asked the same sort of question of Prez’s instant latte mix. “I wonder how they make it foam like that?” Inevitably, these questions only cause me to think about what I am consuming and then my appetite vanishes. When it comes to processed foods, hot dog wieners and Chinese restaurants, I think a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy is probably wise.
At least we are now in starfruit season and the tasty little buggers are growing rampant. Oddly, the locals don’t eat starfruit much. I don’t know if they don’t like them or if they simply dislike the idea of eating something not surrounded by a flaky crust.
Planning future adventures, Prez and I used to say things like, “Oh, we should go to Moab next, the hiking there is supposed to be spectacular.” Now, you might hear something like, “Oooo, we could go to Auckland for a week, there’s lots of good restaurants there!” Sad.
Well, I could complain for hours but I’m getting hungry. I’d better go have a look in the fridge and see what the magic elves have left for me!
OK, OK, there are some perks…
QUESTION: Breakfast in a pie?
Until next time, I hope this finds you healthy, happy & lovin’ life!