Last Sunday, I made my monthly trip into the big city of Khon Kean for a morning of shopping at Lotus Tesco, which is the Thai/English version of Wal-Mart. In square footage it is huge massive building, but as with the other two hypersuperstores here, Big C (Thai copy of Wal-Mart) and Carrefour (French copy of Wal-Mart) it is often difficult to find what you may be looking for. But damn there is no Wal-Mart, but it there were I am sure it would not be any better stocked.
My disappointments Sunday were:
An air needle to fill air in basketballs, footballs, and soccer balls. They sell all of the above items, but no way to reinflate any of them. I guess the Thai’s just throw them away when the air gets low. Maybe no one has ever told them what that little black hole on the cover of the ball is for.
A replacement bulb for the night lights which the sell. There is almost an entire aisle of light bulbs (just above the night lights) but not one that fits the neat little Chinese made night light with Mickey and Minnie dancing around on the shade.
Graphite or a can of light machine oil. The lock on the front gate has become sticky and needs a little lubrication. Oh well, I used a little vegetable cooking oil when I got home and it worked quite well. Will probably gum up in the near future though.
Saltine crackers. They haven’t had these in the past three visits so may be a thing of the past. Getting use to using Ritz Cracker knock offs. Same story with BBQ sauce which they stop carrying about a year ago. The funny thing about the BBQ Sauce is that if we drive south for about twenty minutes there is a Lotus Tessco Express (a mini store) and they have BBQ Sauce.
Pork Ribs. Normally the meat case is full of these little delights. Not so Sunday. Maybe the Swine Flu scare has cut down on pork production.
Chee-tos: I know they are not good for you, but that’s my little treat for being a good boy. One small bag a week and these are Thai size bags (about the size of the old 5-cent potato chip bag) not American size. There were plenty of Lay’s potato chips in stock especially the seaweed and spicy shrimp flavors (no I’m not kidding).
Ice Berg Lettuce: This is always a hit and miss items as are bell peppers, celery, green beans and okra. By the way the only canned vegetables we ever buy here are corn and whole tomatoes (for chili and soups). Everything else is fresh.
Spaghetti: All they had were number 1 and number 10 sizes. Very small and very large. I like a mid range pasta. Bought a shaped pasta instead. A bit chewy but it was OK with me, but the rest of the family didn’t care for it.
Not once have I gone shopping since moving up here that I found all the items on my list. It just becomes a way of life and you get use to it. The biggest disappointment though this week was lettuce as I just got some good beef and a hamburger or taco without lettuce is like….well I can’t think of anything clever at the moment, but it’s not good.