Why I will always prefer shopping in South America to shopping in New Zealand…

27 Dec

It may take twice as long.

It may be half as efficient.

It may involve a different price every day of the week.

It may involve knowing what produce is in season.

It may seem sometimes that you’re paying more than a local.

It may be hard to know a genuine product from a fake one…

but I still prefer shopping in South America to shopping in New Zealand…..

In New Zealand you can live your whole life from 2 shops..one called Countdown which supplies all your grocery needs at a premium rate, avocados are about twice or three times the price as local stores and Warehouse..this place is like a huge Asda (or Walmart) but without the food except for some dried biscuits and stuff..cue fluorescent lights, stack em high mentality, staff who seem to hate your work and hate any questions….a few examples….

Question…how much is a photo dvd

Answer…I don’t know. I can’t find the barcode in my book and I don’t usually work in “entertainment”.

Question….when can I use your photo machine.

Answer…well it’s broken and I don’t know when it will be fixed.

This just wouldn’t happen in South America.  Shops have an element of specialisation to them.  I once went to a market in Huaraz in the North of Peru to find some food for a four day trek.  Man these guys knew their stuff.  And if they didn’t they found it out…

Question….I’m looking for fast cooking food..can you help?

Answer…of course…let me just check for you the fastest cooking soup and how about some fast cooking noodles.

Question…I’m looking for some nuts…

Answer…well these ones are local and delicious..you can try them if you like…and how about trying these white seeded balls they give you lots of energy for trekking.

It’s just a different experience in New Zealand.

In South America you’d probably have to go to at least 6 or 7 shops or stalls to do a “full shop” but it would all be fun…I mean where else do you have one shop that only sells milk products…milk powder…yoghurt…fresh milk…and one shop which only sells tea and sugar…and another which only sells rice…and another which only sells flour….and the streets are awash with fruit which is in season and thus cheap..in Ecuador in November it was little mangos and you could buy them everywhere even from the window of your car when you stop at the lights…

Of course in South America there is no bar coding…and no fixed prices…the prices seem to change depending when and who you ask and how they feel and the position of the moon and stuff but at least they will give you a price (if there is a delay you know it’s the blonde tax being applied)….they don’t have bar codes which they can’t find…

And of course you might not know if the North Face jacket is genuine or not…the lack of proper labels and the “made in Bolivia” might be a giveaway but at least you can bargain over the price of it and regale your mates with tales of “this one time in Bolivia I got a North Face” jacket for 3 quid…while you are on a bus with a three course meal being served to you in a bag…

Oh take me back to South America….

Fruit selection, Colombia

Fruit selection, Colombia


4 Responses to “Why I will always prefer shopping in South America to shopping in New Zealand…”

  1. Sylvia December 30, 2010 at 3:06 pm #

    Aw babe…I will meet you back in South America…just name the date!

  2. Ard-Jan January 4, 2011 at 11:05 pm #

    Hey Angie, it really seems like you just can’t get South America out of your system! Good for you;) South America is amazing. Now I never want to leave!


  3. Julie January 11, 2011 at 3:54 am #

    Oh darlin’- don’t forget there’s Pak’n’Save too!! We should write ‘The Rough Guide to being Underwhelmed in New Zealand’. Between the two of us we could fill a few hundered pages… Here’s hoping Oz brings back our oomph.

  4. Gus and Eileen Paterson March 6, 2011 at 12:18 pm #

    you had a terrible experience in New Zealand, it is a shame that the timing was bad, I am sure if you had met up with Christine you would have at least experienced their hospitality and maybe seen a different side of New Zealand as a visitor not a traveler, we found the people so very friendly and willing to get to know you.
    The shop staff we found are the same the world over, we have been in Hong Kong, Singapore, Los Angeles albeit only for a few hours, but the staff all seem to be the same – they would rather be some where else!!
    Take care, cheers for now, lots of love from Airdrie, where the weather is picking up, the tulips are pushing through the ground and the tree’s are budding, just in time for your grand home-coming, you are being missed big time. Lots of love from Eileen and Gus xx

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