I went grocery shopping earlier this week. I had a list. I had a plan. It all seemed simple enough and I thought I would be fine. I was so wrong.
I started off at Nakumatt at The Village Market. Overall, it was fine. It’s clean and organized. The people who work there are very nice. It has everything. The problem is that I don’t know what anything is.
I had no idea what brand of detergent, soap, tomato sauce, anything to get. I know it’s part of the learning curve. I know it’s all about exploration. But, wow, was it overwhelming! I never thought about brand equity in my personal life until I found myself, aisle by aisle, not recognizing a single brand.
After that mentally exhausting experience, I went to check out Prime Cuts Butchery and Zucchini Greengrocers. (Both are also in The Village Market.) I went to Nakumatt first because I thought things would be cheaper there. It turns out that you get a better selection of produce and meat/fish at the other places for about the same amount of money. Going forward, I’ll save Nakumatt for frozen food and household goods.
It’s worth mentioning that prior to that solo shopping trip, J. and I had checked out the 24-hour Nakumatt near the Westgate mall (I give it a thumbs down), the Nakumatt inside the Westgate mall (seems fine but really small), and the Uchumi in The Sarit Center (it’s okay, but not that great). That’s my opinion as an ex-pat from New York. Others may disagree.
It’s also worth noting that those are the only places I’ve been. There are other shopping centers around the city. I just haven’t been to them yet. I’m hoping to check out the Carrefour soon.
I’m still doing a lot of field work in regard to how to live everyday life. It’s frustrating at times, but not because of Nairobi. It’s because I am essentially a toddler learning how to walk. I’m going to fall down a lot. I’ll get back up and figure things out, one step at a time.
Note: I did well with my choice of laundry detergent. Ariel got our clothes clean…once I figured out how to use the washing machine.