This is Sandy’s perspective on our day:
Well today was a day for shopping. Major Rex Johnson (Territorial Program Secretary) was assigned to take us around and show us where the stores are. Before I begin you must have your currency lesson for the day. PNG money is Kina (dollar) and Toya (cents). 1 Dollar = 2 Kina. We began at Vision World (a very small version of our malls) where there is a RH Hypermarket (an extremely small version of our super WalMart). We were amazed to see the variety of items both food and non food that are accessible here. Did you know there is such a thing as spicy tuna? As we walked up and down the isle, it took little time for sticker shock to set in! I’m thinking, oh my goodness are we going to afford to eat? Meat (even chicken) will be a treat.
Here are a few examples:
6 chicken wings – K19
Dish soap – K6.90
Can of tuna – K3
Pepper – K9.17
Heinz Mustard – K7.77
Sliced bread – K4.60
10 Eggs (they don’t sell by the doz.) – K10.71
Sm. box of Puffed Wheat Cereal (generic) – K8.80
Lemon Pledge (a skinny can and the only dusting option) – DRUM ROLL PLEASE………..K17.05!
The last stop of the day was at a local market where we were able to purchase some produce and fruit. The best find at the outdoor market was a squash for K3. It made for a tasty (cheap) meal tonight albeit we had to borrow a baking dish and some foil from our neighbors Phil and Deslea Maxwell in order for Curtiss to cook it!
Food was not the only thing we went shopping for. Rex showed us how to find the account number to our unit’s electric meter. You take the account number to the “easy pay” station at the Hypermarket and pay however much you want for “units” of electricity. We paid K100 and got 133 units of electricity. We use about 8 units/day…….you do the math. 🙂 After you pay, the clerk gives you a receipt with a “code” number on it. You punch in the code into a keypad register box on the wall and it updates your electricity units.
I was very thankful that Rex was available to show us around and to help us navigate through this process! I just hope Curtiss was paying attention because I don’t think I could find the stores again if we go by ourselves next time!