The Big W Factor

The thing is: I really miss Woolworths. And I'd like to think it misses me too. My business every 2 or 3 days is surely sorely missed, no? Anyway, I often daydream about their amazing branding and stylish packaging; and wish I could just whizz around with my trolley, piling up all the ready-cut vegetables, the healthy and tasty convenience meals and all the foods we grew to know and love.

It's not that the food here isn't good. It is. Damn good. It's just that they don't have a store like Woolworths that brings all that goodness together under one roof. And that's what I miss. Oh, and cut-up vegetables! Getting your vegetables cut up here, comes at a premium. It's a shame, really. 'Cos I seem to have lost the strength in my arm muscles and find it extremely difficult to conquer a whole butternut! And as I'm battling away at the butternut, I dream of those handy packs of diced butternut back in SA. Ja. Well. No. Fine.

Anyway, I now tend to do most of my food shopping at Foodtown or New World - the two main grocery stores here. And I often go to the greengrocer too. They have a great selection of whole, fresh global goodies.

And our favourite butcher is a guy called Fred. At least I think his name is Fred. Anyway, his shop's called Fred's so if that's not his name, then it's all just too confusing! He's a South African chap and other than delicious meat, he also sells milk tarts, peppermint tarts, Nik Naks and Jelly Tots! And on Saturday mornings he has a kiosk outside in the car park where he 'braais' boerewors and sells boerewors rolls. A man after my own heart.

There are also some great markets here - a French market on the other side of the bridge which has all sorts of treats to make your mouth water (seasonal fruit and vegetables, crepes, paella, meat and damn fine breads, dips and sauces) and a market in Matakana which has some mighty fine seafood.

And that's just what we've discovered so far. I'm sure there are many more delicious culinary treasures out there waiting to be found.

Anyway, it's at dinnertime that I really miss Woolies the most: the kids are very busy with sports every afternoon after school and as they finish school so late and only get home after 4 pm, this means that we only get home from sport after 6 pm, sometimes later, and it would be so great to have some of that Woolies food then. Some days I feel particularly keen and energetic and I cook dinner in the morning or fill the slow cooker and get that going. But most days I get home and have to whip up a meal in a flash, with hungry children underfoot. Yeah, yeah, welcome to the real world, I hear you say. I know.

But really. That is a special store, you guys. There's nothing else quite like it. Okay, maybe Marks and Sparks! But really. Those delicious desserts. The great bakery section. The yummy pesto. The beautiful stores. The brilliant magazine. And let's not forget the clothing. Great quality basics. Up to date trends. Yada yada yada. Okay, I know I'm going on a bit. And I guess it's because I'm still in the throws of getting used to something different. It's no worse, it's no better, it's just different. And I guess it's just going to take some getting used to.

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