Should Have Been

On Friday, I picked up a chai tea latte with a shot of caramel and a couple of donuts from a local shop to drown the sorrow of losing all of my chickens to raccoons over the last month. The creatures had broken through every defense, tearing out staples and unwinding wires. Thursday night, I’d splinted one lamb’s broken leg, and lost another to a broken neck. Speculation is the only tool to tell what happened: either she was trampled or fell from the top of a hay bale. Continue reading “Should Have Been”

Supermarket Shopping and Maple Syrup Ice Cream: First Day in New Zealand (Part Two)

See Part One here.

My Airbnb host came out to greet me and started showing me around right away. I took her up on her offer to take me to the local supermarket (grocery store), something I’d been looking forward to for some time. It was called Countdown and had a nice clean layout with a lot of good food. She showed me around and explained the different brands and foods I didn’t recognize. When we went to the deli, the lady behind the counter ended up chatting with me about my trip and what I was doing. As we talked, I was trying to make grams to pounds conversions in my head so I could buy the right amount of ham, but I just ended up with 200 g of ham, which is a bit less than half a pound. I don’t know how the price comparisons are.

But I found I need to become used to the friendly chatter and genuine interest in how I’m doing. I first heard of this in a video about the New Zealand accent. An American voice coach was explaining how we just say hello and then place our order in a store, but in New Zealand, people behind the counter carry on a full conversation with you. This happened at customs, too, when the officer read on my declarations card that I worked in agriculture and asked me for details, partly because it was his job and partly because he was taking a genuine interest in my occupation, as shown by asking where I taught.

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Some of the food I bought at Countdown. Feijoa (on the cereal box) is a type of fruit, and the cereal took some getting used to. It tasted better once the milk had soaked in. The milk I bought is sold in two-litre plastic containers (I almost wrote gallons), the kiwifruit is big and comes in green and gold, and the butter is sold in blocks wrapped in plastic instead of four sticks packaged in a box.

Continue reading “Supermarket Shopping and Maple Syrup Ice Cream: First Day in New Zealand (Part Two)”

A Single Person’s Guide to the Grocery Store

My favorite food from the dining courts. I would be okay with someone buying me a Purdue waffle (Boiler)maker.
My favorite food from the dining courts. I would be perfectly okay with someone finding me a Purdue waffle (Boiler)maker.

For nearly nine years, I’ve lived on my own. I’ve had various roommates in houses and apartments, and I’ve lived in the university residence halls, eating dining hall meals, microwavable dinners or fast food. However, for a year and a half, I lived with only my dog, Evie. (She eats most anything.) I found the food situation to be vastly different when I lived alone than when I lived with roommates.

During this year and a half, I lived in the country, and greatly enjoyed it. I worked in the city but didn’t want to have to stop at the grocery store every day because of bad planning. When I lived on the farm, we only went to the grocery store once or twice a month for all five of us. I liked that approach. Continue reading “A Single Person’s Guide to the Grocery Store”