Sunday, August 8, 2010
Going Native... Sort Of.
We reach Solomon's and hop out. I apologize again for squashing the man and we trek into the store. Dazed and confused we spend forever in the grocery store and get what we need, but forgetting to buy meat which is the sole purpose of the trip. I am wrongly convinved that we will find better looking meat elsewhere. We do not. We are proud of ourselves for remembering to tip the grocery baggers. "Bahamains are grossly underpaid for their work. It is customary to tip the grocery baggers. One dollar or coin change is acceptable." We leave with backpacks full of groceries and a map, searching for grocery store #2. An elderly British man summons us into the shade and directs us to Sawyer's, the best grocery for fruit and veggies. We walk for 10 minutes like pack mules through an industrial area. I walk too close to the road and make Charlie nervous, as fast cars zoom uncomfortable close to me. Charlie is nice and carries the heavy bags. We look sorely out of place.
We reach Sawyer's which is our favorite grocery. It is small and clean and the veggies are fresh. We buy plantains, avocados, lettuce, onions, limes, and mangos. We check out and are proud of ourselves. Until we ask someone where the nearest bus station is. They look up at the sky and laugh. It is about to storm. Oh, and the bus station is about a mile away. Perfect. We trek on in delerium. Luckily, a few minutes out of the parking lot, a nice Bahamian woman pulls over and tells us to get in her car. She looks nice and trustworthy, so we hop in, but I'm pretty sure it this point I'd be hopping in anything with wheels. A kidnapper with air conditioning? Sure, we're in!
The nice lady took us to a gas station close to our condo. We hop out of her car and thank her profusely. Charlie lands in a nest of fire ants. I swat them off his legs and feet as we haul groceries across a busy intersection, racing towards the bus stop. The ants keep stinging him and the bites on his ankles start to swell up. A bus stops for us a few minutes later. We tell the dirver where we need to go and are told that we are on the wrong side of the road. But the driver is nice like everyone else we have met that day. I think she feels sorry for us (also like everyone else we have met today), so she turns her bus around and takes us to our home bus stop, where it all began 4 hours earlier. We walk home as is starts to storm. Once inside, we crash on the couch. Charlie ices his ant bites.
Here is what we learned: No one walks to the grocery store. Especially the ones we went to. They are really far away. It rains too much and is too far. But everyone is very nice. And if you are nice (and pitiful enough) people will help you. How in the world will we manage this trek each week?!? Luckily, we will not have to. There is a grocery store right next to Charlie's school, and a free shuttle which will take students home in the evenings. Thank goodness!!!