Showing posts with label shopping. Show all posts
Showing posts with label shopping. Show all posts

Feb 1, 2017

Shopping, Hinglish, and Alternative Geography...

It's February and we're still alive! Yippee! 
It was time for our monthly sojourn into civilization for a shopping trip. Off we went to the second largest departmental store in Nepal. Whatever shall we find? Mysteries abound!

First up, some almost bacteria free castor sugar! For any Yanks out there needing a translation "castor sugar" is what is called granulated sugar in the US. (Or it was when I lived there many long years ago.) Anyhow, this side of the pond white granulated sugar is called either castor sugar or "breakfast sugar." It might be jammed in somewhere on the exotic imported breakfast cereal aisle, around the coffee/tea/powdered cream aisle, or even stuck in the "wall of dal" where other staples are displayed.  I'm not sure what "almost bacteria free" means especially since it's "hygienically manufactured." Does that mean they swept it off the floor whilst wearing gloves? "Mithaies" are the traditional milk based sweets of South Asia. "Homely" means domestic not ugly or similar to homemade soap in the American sense. Please note that all nouns are capitalized in proper Hinglish, except for bacteria and needs for some reason. I'm not sure why International is capitalized, perhaps to let us know it's important? (I'm still learning Hinglish. As far as I can tell Hinglish is still in developmental phase too.)

Apples from Thailand? Well, I suppose that's probably possible in the mountains up near Chiang Mai. Let's have a closer look-

Ummmm...I think those apples have a USA sticker on them. They are definitely green though. I do believe these apples are of the variety Granny Smith and are from Washington state. 

Alright, let's see where the Thai red apples are from.

Any Americans out there? Is Thailand now a part of the US now? Have things changed that much since I left the US? Oh well. Maybe they came to Nepal by way of Thailand? I know this departmental store sipss in fancy fruits from Thailand for holidays and during the wedding season so perhaps that's what the mix up is? These apples have been for sale at this store for over two months now. I'm sure it took them at least a month to get to Nepal from Washington. Who knows what all they've been dipped, sprayed and gassed with to prevent decomposition? Meh. I'm buying local apples from Shimla. 

Ok, so this definitely came from Thailand. Apparently the really big big big American corporation of Dole has truly gone multinational and now produces and markets tamarind. I know Dole grows pineapples in Thailand now. In fact most of the pineapples sold in the US come from Thailand I am told.

If you'd ever wondered why acid attacks are so prevalent in South Asia here's why. That's right, for less than fifty cents you can buy yourself a half liter of hydrochloric acid! This is commonly used to clean and deodorize toilets over here. I have no idea what people do in their commodes in South Asia that requires hydrochloric acid to cleanse it. We just use Lizol and a little bleach. Unless you're disposing of a murder victim I'm not sure what you'd need HCl for in your bathroom?

A vision of pure luxury, Philadelphia cream cheese! This actually comes all the way from Germany to Nepal. Hopefully it rode first class at $10 for 250 grams. I made the mistake of buying some of this once. It was spoiled to the point of being some runny, clotted, foul smelling, greenish mess. I seriously doubt this refrigerated product was refrigerated all the way from Germany to Nepal. Live and learn. I wonder why the Germans would even want Philadelphia cream cheese when they have lovely Neufchatel?

The menfolk were treated to some new and fashionable long underwear. As you might imagine the markets here are flooded with Chinese fakes of all sorts. Some of these fakes are actually of amazing quality. You do have to be willing to sort through the very disorganized piles of random stuff though. Of course the most trendy and expensive brands are always copied. The merchant whom we bought these from was convinced the brand Under Armour was a division of the US Army. I didn't have the heart to tell him it was just a popular American brand. The only flaw I could find on these fakes was the spelling mistake on the waistband as you see above. They had the brand's name and logo correct everywhere else on the garment so what happened here? They are excellent quality though for $10 a pair! The fabric is some sort of ultra thin neoprene-like stuff that is super warm. I've washed all 8 pairs we bought 3-4 times and they look and wear great. 

This is what happens when you send dear husband to find the baking powder. Yes, that's two 400 gram tubs of baking powder (a total of 1.7lbs). I didn't notice dear husband had tossed these in the cart until we got home. That's probably enough baking powder for the entire town for a year. I notice one of the ingredients listed is wheat flour? Why? Oh well, guess I'm going to be making a lot of biscuits!

Gratuitous cat picture.
And lastly, it's His Imperial Majesty the Baacha Khan being squirted with the hose. That's our gardener playing with HIM in the tandem driveway I've converted to a plant hospital. The Baacha Khan is the only housecat I've ever met that loves playing in water. He is very fond of our gardener Khashi and pesters him the entire time he works in our garden. Khashi seems to like it though.

Dry me, Human! Yes, the Baacha Khan loves being dried with a towel or even a hairdryer. I'm not sure he knows he's a cat.

So what's up with you? 
How's it going? Does your life feel like you've stepped onto the set of some bizarre sequel to Dr Strangelove? Me too!
See ya in the funny papers,

Apr 19, 2016

Bibi's Buy-athalon!

You just never know what you'll find when you go to the supermarket here in Nepal. Rarely the same thing twice that's for sure.

Lotsa mozzarella! 
Courtesy of the Developmental Dairy Corporation of Nepal we can now buy locally made buffalo milk mozzarella. Yippeee! Yes, pizzas are popular with both natives and tourists alike here in Nepal. Well, what they serve here at pizzerias is sort of like pizza. I mean it has tomato based sauce and cheese on a round flat starchy thing. Ok, so it's more like naan with oregano spiked masala gravy and yak cheese partially melted over it. It's still pretty good. Did I ever tell you Desis eat ketchup on their pizza? It's for true!

I have no idea what is going on here. 
Why is the American flag on a bag of 30 single serving instant Mongolian salt tea packets with English and some other language in Cyrillic script on it? Whom is that ginger whiskered TeaKing person giving us the thumbs up on that bag? The TeaKing looks to be a not too distant relative of Ronald McDonald perhaps that's the connection?  McMongolian tea? I would assume Nepalis have no use for instant Mongolian salt tea nor the positive recommendations of Mr Teaking as these bags have been sitting on the same shelf unmoved for 8 months now.

Pillsbury has been trying to break into the Desi marketplace with different instant mixes for years now.
Here we have instant mixes for idlis which are a steamed rice cake popular in Southern India and dhokla a traditional Gujarati treat. It seems a bit odd to see the American doughboy telling Desis that Pillsbury mixes are just like home. Pillsbury had to make their cake mixes smaller and eggless to accommodate Desi tastes and preferences, it took them like 3 years to figure that one out. Nepalis don't eat idlis nor dhokla so these have been sitting forever in the snack aisle next to various packaged premade chaats for months now too.

The ultimate shortcut gulab jamun!
Gulab jamu n in a box! That's right just pop open one of these boxes for instant gratification. Or stick a bow on it and gift it to your elegant host or hostess at the very next gala event you happen to attend. Perfect for both formal and casual occasions! I've never tried these so I'm not sure if they're any good or not. The canned rasgullahs are pretty good if you goose them up with a drop or two of rose water.

That concludes Bibi's buy-athalon of the week, stay tuned for more fun and adventures!

An interesting aside:
I have been notified that I have been nominated for the "Best Food Blog"  AND "Best New Blog" awards on the  nepaliaustralian blog so get on over there and vote for my blog if you choose at:

Be sure to check out all the other amazing blogs in all the different categories and vote for all your favorites!!! Winners will be announced in May.
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