There are a couple of major stores where you can get imported goods… and last year I frequented these places a lot. They’re great for getting the foods we just can’t get here, but at the same time, I’ve since found many alternatives to the things I always thought I needed... And now know I hardly need at all. A lot of our shopping is done more locally where there are better prices and mostly friendly people... where Swahili can be practiced... where local acquaintances can be made... and where import taxes do not necessarily apply. So while last year I would head to Shoppers every week after church to get groceries for the week, it’s been nearly two months now since I’ve headed to this delightful (and over-priced, but great atmosphere!) store.
The first place you always look when at Shoppers is the Bargain aisle. (Yes, mom, you taught me well!) This is where you may sometimes find something like slightly-damaged Karo Corn Syrup for 500Tsh (about 40 cents) versus it’s usual 12,000Tsh (about $10, which I’d never buy). Or nearly-expired brownie mix. Or other goodies that are just too good to pass up.
But today, my big find wasn’t in the Bargain aisle. It was in the automotive/extension cords/tools section of one of the aisles. And that find was… get ready! WD-40!!!
Yes, it seems like a little thing. And really, it is. The one I got today was 100mL. Pretty small. It cost 5,000Tsh (about $3.50ish). And yet, this is a product that has never-before-been-seen in Tanzania. Until two weeks ago, when it was spotted on the Peninsula (which is where all the Diplomats live). I never thought it would make it to our very own Shoppers in only two weeks time! I actually contemplated bringing this back with me from the States at Christmas (along with the supply of duct tape), but thought that perhaps the airlines wouldn't appreciate me packing this. I guess it's a good thing I waited.
I can’t remember now what project we were just saying we needed this fantastic invention for the other day. But I’m sure we’ll recall it soon – and regardless, it’s always good to pick up things like this when you see them, as it’s very possible that next week they’ll be MIA from all stores, never-to-be-seen-again.