Saturday, September 15, 2012

Golden Nuggets IX: Local Grocery Store

Living in a foreign country requires learning new customs and adjusting to a new normal. All those interesting tidbits I learn as I live in Haiti are Golden Nuggets. And what kind of person would I be if I didn't share those Golden Nuggets with others?

As I drove home from the grocery store yesterday, I thought about some observations I should share with all of you. Some background information: this grocery store is about 5 minutes from my house. It's a smallish mom and pop type place, but it has nearly everything I could have on my shopping list.

My observations:

  • I bought 6 items. All of them were put in their own plastic bag. One was even double bagged, so I left with 6 items and 7 bags.
  • All the cashiers at this store are female. All the bag boys are men. The more I think about it, the more I realize this is true for all grocery stores I've ever been to in Haiti. Gender roles are very defined here and apparently running a cash register is for women and bagging up items is for men. It is worth noting that the cashiers will bag items if a bag boy is not available.
  • The grocery store is expensive. I can buy 5lbs of flour at the boutique next to my house for $16, but at the store it's at least $20* if not more. AND the last time I bought flour at the store it had bugs in it. I've never found bugs in my boutique flour... and I've been sifting it ever since I found those bugs!
     Eggs are even more ridiculous. A dozen eggs at the grocery store costs $25-$30, but we buy a flat of eggs (30) for $39 at the boutique next door.
*All money in this post is in Haitian Dollars. $8 Haitian=$1 US.

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