Imagine your run to the grocery store. Now imagine that you haven’t seen a grocery store in more than a month and have been living off whatever was in your fridge and cupboards.
This is our most recent run to a grocery store in Penrhyn. First we hitched a ride in an aluminum runabout to the other side of the atoll to the main village (30 minutes). Then, after some chatting at the main village, we hopped on some plastic chairs on the back of a small flatbed truck and rode the 2 or so miles to the store. Here is the store and our ride, notice the sweet plastic chairs.
Here is a close up of the main part of the store (beer stacked on right – Victoria Bitter if you are curious tastes about as watery as Hinano):
Close up of our ride and the nice guy driving us. Oh, and the hoses on the back of the truck that we were sitting by…I don’t want to know what they are normally used for.
And unloading our supplies back into the runabout for the return trip into the wind (1 salty hour):
Afterwards, we unloaded the boxes from the runabout onto our deck before the runabout could knock a chip out of our fiberglass. There are never enough fenders for a metal boat to come alongside. Then, while unpacking, we lost our shit when we discovered a stowaway – our first cockroach aboard! We crushed it, tossed it overboard and watched a fish eat it (fast fish!), disinfected the place where we crushed it in case we squeezed out eggs or something, and then shivered with the extreme heebie jeebies convincing ourselves that it did, indeed, just come from the box and there weren’t any more aboard.
Total time for grocery trip: 7 hours.
I have come full circle past frustration into enjoyment of these type of errands. Part of that is a change in location; it is more fun to deal with logistics here than it was in California and the scenery doesn’t hurt. Part of that is a change in perspective. We no longer say “we are going to get propane”. We say “we are going on a propane expedition”. This implies that the terminus is uncertain and the timing as well. The expedition may or may not be finished today. We are simply starting the process today.
I also have come to love how our errands end up bringing us into other people’s lives and them into ours. To see us struggle breaks barriers and evokes offers of help. The helpful responses from people makes me feel good about humanity.