Tuesday, October 4, 2011

For the Price of a Cup of Tea

More shopping adventures! Whenever I want to make a price comparison, this song always pops into my head. Go ahead and play it, it's a good one.

Here in the land of the rising sun, I've been stunned by the prices of everyday products like Parmesan cheese (or really any kind of cheese), melon, and today: grapes!

We can get all these things on base at average American prices, but I try to do my grocery shopping out in town where everything is fresh and, not unusually, very local. The problem with the food on base is that it comes from the USA, so it's already been on a boat for a few days before it arrives in Guam, leaves a shipment in Okinawa, then the boat makes another stop in Fukuoka, and finally we get the rest here in Iwakuni.

There are lots of rumors about the food here, like we get the meat that doesn't sell on clearance in the states, so it is frozen and then sent to "institutions" (i.e. prisons, hospitals, the military). Meat is a lot cheaper on base than off, but you can't get any fresh meat on base. I also think it's sort of questionable to have eggs and milk on a boat or airplane for that long.

So, I like to pack up my reusable bags (Japanese grocery stores usually only provide bags that are flimsier and smaller than our produce bags in the US), and peruse the aisles. Here is a selection of interesting things I've found lately:

At today's exchange rate, this cheese is $12.90. OUTRAGE.

$19.30 for ONE melon. You can bet I haven't tried one.
$7.68 for the bushel
Apparently Japan knows their grapes. OH MY GOODNESS. I read about an ITT trip for grape picking here in Japan, but didn't want to make a day of it. Finally I gave in and bought this stem of grapes with my normal-sized iPhone for size comparison. They are massive! They absolutely don't skimp on flavor either. They taste like a juicy plum and a seedless grape had a baby together. If you're in Japan, you have to try these! If you're not in Japan, well...I'm sorry.

That's all for now, folks. Did you catch my Halloween tablecloth in that picture? I'm getting the house extra creepy for Halloween this year! I don't think we'll have any trick-or-treaters, but we might have some drinkers. I'm so excited to see all the costumes!

No comments:

Post a Comment