PriceSmart

I was speaking with my mum. Well, writing with her. I’m sure Messenger was invented for us. It’s our natural form of communication. Text threads allow us thought and to be patient with one another. By midday, our conversation was going like this:

Me: Guess what? We just found the side shade panels for the cockpit in the back shower. We’d forgotten we even had them, the back shower was that full.

My mum: ‘It’s the beginning of good luck.’

Me: ‘Does that mean good luck is appreciating what you have?’

My mum: ‘It’s finding what you have.’

Me: ‘Aha.’

We went to the big Trini supermarket, PriceSmart today. This was after we spied our dock neighbours, the catamaran Turtle Adventure Tours, coming back from PriceSmart with a large number of bulk items. Deals to be had? Let’s go.

It turned out to be rather an exciting trip – for supermarket geeks. Full disclosure: I’m a supermarket geek. I swear, I could think of nothing better to write than a travel book about foreign supermarkets. Ok, that definitely sounded better in my own head.

My supermarket love is real though. Besides the different foods, I like the way food stores reflect their different environments – or sometimes not. Sometimes they’re like a dirty little secret. I’m talking about you, Bridgetown, Barbados. Overall, it seems Eastern Caribbean supermarkets are usually either dead-posh, or centres for cultivating flour dust. Hello Antigua.

We discovered that PriceSmart’s in its own league. It’s near MovieTowne in Woodbrook. There’s a proper multi-storey to drive and park in. Continental-style infrastructure. And PriceSmart is a membership-based store. Like a UK Macro or Bookers equivalent. You can go in and fill your trolley, but if you want to check-out, you need to buy a membership card. It costs about £20. But for just one visit?

Hmm. Jack explained our conundrum to a member of staff. The lady said that in that case, we could just ask someone in the check-out queue to borrow their card. And we did just that. Ha! There you go. Trini- relaxed. Supermarkets do reflect culture.

There were a lot of give-aways too in PriceSmart. At the end of every warehouse-style aisle, someone was standing at a try-out table. We got a free cup of coffee with cream, peanut milk, scrambled eggs to be eaten with a toothpick (well, since we are in Rome), vegetables cooked in coconut garlic oil, and dry cereal in a little bowl. I did pass a table with rolled oats and kept going though. Also, the adult diapers were a little dry. Couldn’t help it.

After we paid for a large number of things that we didn’t strictly need but were still strangely happy about, we stopped at the IKEA-style cafe and got something to eat. We watched the scene around us. How did we get here again? I looked around for a wifi code. Time to write to my mum. Good luck really is about appreciating what you have.

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