Sunday, April 29, 2012

Grocery Stores & Drivers - April 12

Subject: Grocery Stores & Drivers
Date: Thu, 12 Apr 2012 09:52:59 -0600

Visiting the Pick 'n Save grocery store is an interesting experience.  After 4 weeks in Africa I can summarize my perceptions:
(1)  The white Afrikaans are intent shoppers.  Other than the old folks in their upper 70's and 80's, the average shopper is moving busily from aisle to aisle, item to item, at "I'm in a hurry." pace.  Their philosophy seems to be, "If you are in the way of my shopping cart - move."   

(2)  All the workers are native Africans. They are polite and courteous.  When I pass through the cash register I say "Thank you." in their native language and they smile. 

(3)  When you buy vegetables, you tear off a plastic paper bag and place your vegetables inside.  Then you proceed to the "Weigh-In station."  "The weigh-In lady weighs your bag of vegetables and affixes a price tag.  The bag is now ready for the cashier.

(4)  The Deli is most interesting.  It's somewhat comparable to our Delis back home except there are more sausages of several kind; baked, fried and stewed chicken; several curries;  lamb, beef, and chicken stew; macaroni and potato salads, and many other dishes.  The one that caught my eye today was "Garlic Snails."  I have already mentioned to you "Monkey Kidneys." I saw a menu at the restaurant in one of the animal parks we visited that said, "Rhino burgers." I don't know if the content was rhino or it referred to the size of the burger. Anyway, there is always something of interest to see each day in Africa.

(5)  So far, I have only seen 3 people smoke and that was 3 native Africans sitting on the back of a truck we were following.  One would puff a few times then pass it to the next, who would take a few puffs, then pass it on to the third.  Either they were smoking "weed" or they couldn't afford a pack of cigarettes.

(6)  Parking lot driving? Very interesting.  The drivers are white AfriKaans.  The native Africans walk every where.  It is ,"Get out of my way pedestrian or I'll mow you down."  There's little courtesy for pedestrians walking through the parking lot to the store or back to their cars. They speed through parking lots.  It's, "I own the parking lot and I'll drive at whatever speed I want."  I observed a white lady enter the parking lot from an adjacent road.  The traffic was backed up in an aisle 4 cars deep as a car up front was about to back up and leave.  She waited 6 seconds then started laying on the horn.  I said to myself, "Lady, be patient."  The drivers here seem to drive fast.  

(7)  The people here are friendly both Afrikaans and the native Africans. We have enjoyed meeting them and visiting various areas.

(8)  The majority of parking lots have native Africans pointing to an open parking space and guiding you as you back out.  You give them 2-3 Rand which is about 25 - 37 cents. This is how the parking assistants make a living - your charitable donation for their service.

(9)  Naturally in any culture people are used to the food and drink they grow up on in their native lands.  So it is an adjustment for us to assimilate the tastes of things here.
Our  "No" list or "Not going to eat that again includes.": canned peas, corn, corned beef; hot dogs, chicken pie and for Diane - Kentucky fried chicken, but KFC was fine for me.   We're eliminating some of the drinks: pineapple and mango so far.  Guava is good.  Anyway, the "sorting procedure" will continue.

(10)  Well, 2 of the young missionaries are coming over for dinner so it's time for me to go and cook.  Sister S is in cooking retirement.  Until next time.

Elder S.


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