Sunday, February 21, 2010

How much is that chicken in the freezer, the one with the .....

Well, there's this sort of wholesale place here but there again not really wholesale and their logo is 'we give birth to prices and others raise them'...and no it's not Mothercare. Anyway, my Mum is here and she is keen to get the full shopping experience and has overheard Merlyn (my wonderwoman help) saying we should buy our meat here so here I am forfeiting the equivalent to the M&S Foodhall (ok, never in a million years I know) to Lidl's long distant cousin.

So, here's the setting - 20 x 20ft room, strange tardis like cash desk to your left, huge freezer to your right, small table in the middle with slightly bloodied scales on and then a veritable line up of pen pushing staff on the left hand side. These guys well about 5 women and 1 guy are all very busy writing out invoices with lots of carbon paper and making no eye contact at all. Anyway, I have been here long enough now to not let the no eye contact ruse deter me. So, I grab a guy who's stacking up boxes and say 'Gimme a chicken'. Ok, I don't really say this but this is what I want to say but instead I say:-

Please can I have a couple of chickens?

Yes, what size?

I don't know (Dominican chickens are all one size, trust me). Just give me a couple please, I don't mind.

So, he opens the freezer which has about a foot of frost in it and then a jumbled collection of EVERYTHING - fish, chicken, hams, feet - ok trotters, and lots of things I definitely can't recognise. Anyway, I don't know whether to be helpful and prod around with him or just hold the top of the freezer up. I opt for the latter because I don't want to spot an eye or a nostril. I should actually be vegetarian - in fact if Eric (of Red Rock Haven fame) could cook for me everyday I would be, albeit I'd always make him do chocolate pancakes. Anyway, after lots of digging around, helpful man says:-

Only got one.

That's fine, one will do. How much is it?

I'll have to weigh it.

So, lots of weighing and shouting to one of the girls on the far left side. Is it me or is frozen chicken a lot heavier than fresh. Anyway, it's 25 bucks so I say fine and try and take it. Oh no, I can't do that. I have to go and get the invoice from Lady A. So, I stand there patiently waiting for the carbon copies to be suitably pressed and then I hear the most (ok, along with 'do you understand?') annoying expression here 'Let me tell you'. So, making no eye contact (I'm learning) I ignore this. However, this is followed by perfectly manicured tapping nails on the desk and a slightly louder 'Let me tell you, you can't buy one chicken'. You know what, I didn't even want to buy one chicken, I wanted to get my usual $18 dollar chicken in IGA and queue up and pay for it and leave and have a quiet life. So, now I'm apologising for buying one chicken when all that's in the freezer is ONE CHICKEN. So I look pathetically grateful and hand her my money. No, way too easy, she doesn't take money. So I look to the obvious cash desk that's all enclosed with a glass counter. No, way too easy too. Instead, more tapping and gesticulating from the man three along who has clearly lost his vocal cords. I give him the invoice and the money and of course there is no change. So, I edge towards my chicken which is now nicely defrosting on the crusty scales and am about to pick it up when money man finds his voice 'You must have a bag and take your invoice first'. So I skulk back to get my invoice and then back to the scales. Helpful man finds a bag but won't hand it over until I give him the invoice. Finally, I grab my $25, certainly not wholesale price chicken and leave. Never again. Well so I thought, as Mum pipes up tonight 'I saw a big bag of prawns in there you know, I think we should get them tomorrow'. Umm, well maybe more than one prawn in the bag qualifies for wholesale....maybe.


Jen Oliver said...

i think that's hysterical. my husband and i are a little intrigued with the Dominican lately--so blue and warm compared to our awful Midwest February, you know? I guess you have to take the good with the bad, and chalk up these little experiences to "local color". It reminds me of Francis Mayes' Tuscany stories... "We give birth to prices, and others raise them." Seriously, I wish I'd thought of that one...! Thanks for the laugh.

Destination Dominica said...

Thanks Jen....everyone is desperate for RAIN now actually and we are busy sending off our water to St Lucia and Barbados at the moment who are worse off than us. To be honest, there is no 'bad' as such here and it is amazing how quickly you adapt and can laugh at yourself and alongside others. I loved having a look at your recipes just now - especially the pumpkin ones as we have LOADS and I am running out of inspiration. Enjoy the journey before motherhood takes over....

Mandy and Rob said...

Greetings from Cyprus, Enjoyed your blog, Regards

Widge said...

wow! a $25 chicken! what a hassle. enjoyed your post though. you should totally go back there for the prawns just to entertain us ;)