Vanda Kujbus

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Gobabis - Shopping time! 2

Written by Vanda

Grocery shopping

Considering the size of Gobabis, it has numerous shopping possibilities, however, prices are very similar to the ones in Windhoek. The selection is even more narrow, and as we don’t have any place to cook, or a fridge, we are having hard times with shopping. At least with fruits and vegetables. Since only a few people can afford, they stay in the shop for too long, and in a few days they are ready for further processing to alcohol. Generally, we buy a few tomatoes, cucumber, bell peppers, some yoghurt and meat for one meal (chicken leg, dried meat, cold cuts) and finally some fruits for dessert, and we keep to our 150 NAD-a-day expenses (3300 HUF/10 EUR). These prices are crazy! At the end of the month we spend the same amount as in Denmark, but there at least we could get diverse and normal food. Not cool Namibia, not cool...

Pricewise, fruits and vegetables are luxury products, since most of them are imported from South Africa, as Namibia's climate is not really suitable for growing those things. But if you are not conscious about your body shape, or you are also one of those lucky bastards with magical genes, junkfoods such as sweet bakery products, chips, and other small snacks are going to save you a lot of money!

Expensive fruits
Expensive vegetables
Cheap bread
Cheap chips

There are some other surprising products in the shop. For example, have you ever tried d*ckmilk? ?? :D  Very tasty, I can just recommend this rotten milk delicacy. This is the only milk product which is not sweet, that’s why I only drink this one. Because of the taste, I swear, not because of some other reasons you dirty mind!
But putting the joke aside, there are two other types of dairy products, that I haven’t seen anywhere else.

Di*kmilk
sweet dairy

Oshitaka is a type of yoghurt mixed with maize meal in many different flavors. It has an interesting texture, feels like a grainy joghurt, and Oshikandela is similar to our drinking yoghurts. And of course these are also sweet. Even plain ones. Everything is sweet! But if you can close your eyes for added sugar, it is quite filling, as the packaging on Oshitaka promises.

Product sizes also imply, that the target group is slightly different than at home. While our society is more oriented to small families and single people, here they focus more on big families of 5+ people.

family size maize meal
family size sugar and bread
family size margarine
family size potato

And what about washing? Would you think that you have to read twice the label so that you wouldn’t buy powder for hand washing?

The red circle indicates the amount powder suitable for machines, and the rest is strictly for hand washing purposes.

washing powder, machine vs hand
rice box

Shops attempt to take care of your comfort in many ways.

For one, it is annoying when you buy a pack of rice and you have to cut just the perfect size of hole so that you wouldn't accidentally cook half of the package, right?

Here they made your life easier. I don't even know why haven't we started producing these packages?

For two, At home shop assistants look down on me if I don’t bring my shopping cart or the basket back to its place or if I take my time (and keep the line up) during packing the goodies together after paying. Here they took this burden off my shoulders. It is completely accepted to just leave your cart behind when you pay, there will be someone, who will collect them, and there is an additional person who packs together your stuffs while you are paying. That’s why there would be many employees in the shop. Creating work places, good job Namibia!

abandonned shopping carts
packaging lady

Although if you want to enjoy your Sunday wine or beer, don't forget to fill up your alcohol resources at least one day before! Otherwise you might find yourself in a difficult situation, and have to wait until Monday. It is apparently prohibited by law to sell alcohol in shops on Sundays. This is not valid for pubs, so you don't need to stay thirsty. In this way you can even meet some new people, so this law might not be so bad after all.

no alcohol sunday

Miscillaneous shopping

Since we have only a plain room, we need to furnish it somehow at least with basics. A few kitchen appliances, mosquito net etc...

Fun fact!

I would have never imagined that even though we are in the middle of nowhere in a „random African small town”, there are so many chinese shops! And not even scattered evenly around the city, but all of them on this (other) main road! These guys are amazing They are everywhere... And don’t even own tiny shops, but rather big ones, just like probably those ones back at home (at least in my home, in Hungary). So if you are ever planning to visit Gobabis, you would feel like at home, at least a little bit.

Chinese shop 1
chinese shop 2
chinese shop 3
chinese shop 4