Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Shopping in Goroka - An Adventure Like None Other

Shopping takes on a whole new meaning when shopping in Papua New Guinea

So it all begins by getting up the nerve to ask someone to drive you into town. Of course it is nearly a whole day event so the person you ask has to give up their day to do this for you. So I emailed a friend of mine, and figured it was a long shot because there were no vans available and it was pretty late notice, so I figured he had plans. However, at 5 pm the night before our proposed shopping day he called, and said that he got a van from his department so we could go, however, he was going to stay in the van and at the Bird to work on his sermon prep for Oct. 5. I “argued” with him a bit about the whole trip since it sounded like he really had other things to do, but he insisted it would all work out.

So in the morning at 9 am 4 girls went into town with Paul driving us. We stopped at Brian Bell, our most western style store, and got a couple things. I got a handle for my broom and some kebob skewers. Next we went next door to the old Papindos and found a few things. I found some shirts for my brother’s boys for Christmas. Then we piled into the van and headed to “down town”. Paul dropped us off at the store farthest away from the Bird so that we could then just walk back. This store is called SVS and we got some fabric, food, and other little random things we could find. One of the ladies got some great picture frames. Never have I seen such nice frames here. Then we went across the street to the pharmacy, well actually two. I found some stocking stuffer gifts and was able to get a phone card for my cell phone. We were going to go into one store that once had sugar free cookies and pick some up for another friend, but there was a large mob of people outside that store and I didn’t feel too comfortable going in there. So we figured the cookies were not that important. We decided that we would head back to the Bird, use the bathroom and get some lunch. We had a nice meal at the hotel and visited over lunch. Then we went back out across the road to Bintangor, a grocery store, and got a few items, including cash back on our credit cards. We came back to the Bird and loaded up the van to head back home. However we had one more stop to make at the new Papindos and did our last shopping there.

We made it back home just after 2 pm and felt like we had a very successful day. However once I got all my packages in, I realized that at least half the items I bought need to be washed before I use them. You always feel a bit grimy after being in town. We all talked today about how fun it is "back home" to shop and not feel the need for a shower when you get home.

All in all it was a fun day and I really did feel like I got so much that I needed. I haven’t been shopping in town since before the school term started. So that has been 8 weeks.