Thursday, 7 January 2016

Shop Hopping at Port Moresby

Port Moresy and Papua New Guinea in general is a home to numerous shopping store and supermarket.  Back in my country, I remember Cabanatuan, where I spent most of my school days, as a home to numerous schools and universities.  Walking around a few blocks in that place will almost always bring you to a different school. On busy weekdays, students can make up most of the public on every crowded street.

Port Moresby, having dwelt by diverse cultures comprised of the locals and expats from different countries, is adapted to meet what the multicultural community needs.  Thanks to the local farmers and poultry growers, we are enjoying a steady supply of fresh meat and vegetables.

This shelf is in Waterfront Shop. While the prices may be outdated, tiger prawns are sold at K87.75 per kilo and baby squids are sold at a much lower price for K24.95 a kilo. Squids are generally associated to foods that are of rubbery substance and are hard to chew, so I am guessing that the word “baby” in this price tag is a fun way to disassociate these little creatures from the same conviction.

Kind of suggesting these are the “softer” kind of squid. 

I’m not sure if it’s a good idea not to mask off the prices but it seemed that the majority of my readers are people interested at knowing things about PNG.  A few months after I started this blog, I’ve been occasionally receiving emails from various people asking mostly about the cost of living in Papua New Guinea. 

Apparently, shop owners here are quite knowledgeable in local cuisine.  Here on display is mixed veggies intentionally packed together for a certain recipe. There are various days in our kitchen when I pretend like a good chef and just cook whichever is the simplest from a recipe book. Perhaps, I’ll be trying these on one of those days. 

In Port Moresby, local farmers continue to bring in their contributions to the ever luscious display of fresh vegetables on store shelves.  I sometimes wonder how the locals can still manage to grow crops despite the scarcity of rain being received by this place all year round. 

Proficient farmers, I must say.

Some stores are considerate enough to bring in goods from the Philippines.  When I was younger, although I still am, but by some metaphorical interpretation, I can feast on a whole jar of peanut butter just by progressively scooping it out with a single finger.

Nowadays, when I try and reproduce that behavior, such a childlike action can sometimes elicits gleeful reactions from my good-humored housemates.  

This shelf is dominated by heaps of Choco Mallows and Flat Tops. I specifically took notice because these two were my favorite treats.  If you haven’t come across eating Choco Mallows before, its taste is akin to that of a regular marshmallow dipped in a bowl of chocolate-flavored pancake syrup.

Although I work in a shop of similar ventures, I also become a customer to other store every now and then. Being a customer, I always enjoy the pleasure of taking all the time to inspect an item before I buy it.  But I have come to learn that shopping while dressed in my company uniform does attract a steady influx of inquisitive customers lost in the labyrinth of shelves and gondolas.

Hypothetical conversation

Customer: “Could you help me locate where the Anchor milk is?”

Me: “Uh wait, I think it’s on that side. But I’m really sorry, I don’t work here.”

Customer: “Oh, sorry.”

Me: “It’s okay. No worries. Have a good day.”

Papua New Guinea’s undeniable growth is apparent on its every day scenery. For example, an increasing number of vehicles on the road and the partial colonization of hills that have once stood uninhabited can be considered a sign of progress.

We left the Waterfront Shop and visited Waigani Central. Unfortunately, this store has caught in minor fire a few months ago. I believe that this remains close to the public at the time of this writing.  Luckily though, it still has its old building nearby where they are doing business as usual at the moment.

We usually go here for bananas and carrots. The shop hopping has largely been due to the differences in the way each stores add a markup on their produce.  We have learned that paying a visit here on weekends can be productive on our part.

Plus you’ll get to see a mosaic face of vegetable origin on the banner.

It wasn’t long before our hungry stomachs took our concentration away from the vegetable stalls.  We went inside the shop and looked around for something to munch on our way home.  A co-manager ended up choosing this sushi.

I did not feel like eating at that time so I walked about a few paces from there and found myself staring at this remarkable machine that produces superb-tasting coffees in an instant. I always wanted one of these for myself but the price of owning one is just simply impractical.

In the end, I decided to order a cup of cappuccino that fits perfectly in the cup holder inside our car. We went home feeling jovial that we spent our weekends in a fruitful way.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Glen for your insights on the local life!
    We are an aussie startup operating in PNG with, a marketplace for local people to buy and sell their car faster and cheaper. Happy to have your feedback on this.


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