Thursday, January 31, 2013

Shopping Time

Today a pal and I went to the biggest grocery store in the big twin city metropolis of Juazeiro/Petrolina.  It took us about 45 minutes to get there from Sobradinho.  Our goals were simple - save money and do it fast.   Neither one of us could be gone long as the sole care givers of our houses full of needy people.  To make matters worse the owner of the car we used (Byron) wanted it back at a certain time.

I went prepared with a detailed list and make a commitment to not stray in the least from the items written on my paper.  My friend had a very limited amount of cash and the store only deals in cash, so that was her way of keeping on target with her purchases.

We arrived at about 2 pm.  I told my pal that we had until 3 to be in line and on our way out.  Lines are long and checking out takes forever.  We had both been the store on numerous occasions to make purchases together for retreats.  So we know the layout and I felt it was a doable goal.  Little to we know of all the days of the week the store was slap full of people because it was Thursday Produce Special day.  That added to all the people there that we knew and had to keep stopping to do the hug and kiss thing made for slow going.  I had a hard time making some choices on the shampoo aisle.  Our little grocery store in Sobradinho has four short aisles.  There at the big store there is one long aisle just for bath soap and shampoo/hair products!

By 3 o'clock I was almost done and gave Lu a ring on her cell phone.  She was ready to get in line so I moved as fast as I could towards the cashiers.  We got in neighboring lines and enjoyed seeing who would check out first.  Our attendants were having a rousing discussion between themselves about workers' rights.  I was just hoping as a customer they wouldn't forget about my rights and ring up everything correctly.

At this store you have to buy bags if you want them.  You can collect boxes as you go from people doing stock and use them as well.  They're free.  You can't put anything in bags or boxes until you are out of the store.  The "bag boys" organize and line up all the stuff you buy so a little dude at the door can quickly scan your purchases while he checks each and every item off your receipt.  Yup, takes a while to get out.

I'm hoping, hoping that making this trip once a month will help drop our rising food bill.  Prices of basic things like rice, beans and milk are all much higher here in our little town.

Total shopping time including getting there and back:  3 1/2 hours.

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