Friday, September 14, 2007

Shopping Day

Whew, just got back from shopping. That certainly takes a lot out of me.

First we took the dollar bus to Blue Point which is a computer store. It is easily accessible by bus. Go towards Philipsburg, up and over the hill past Grand Marche, KFC and Cost-U-Less, after a bit the road curves to the left and goes over a little bridge that crosses a very green bit of water. At the crossroad immediately after this bridge, the bus turns right and you see the Heineken green Airplane restaurant on the other side of the road. Soon after, on the right hand side of this road (the pond is to your left), you'll see a shop with BLUE POINT written in big blue letters. Ask the driver to "stop please". Or, when you get on the bus you can tell the driver that you want to go to Blue Point as he should know where it is.

Blue Point has quite a bit of stuff. They have really improved in knowledge and amount of product since their opening a couple of years ago. Prices aren't too bad. You might be able to get something cheaper in the States but remember that you'll have to wait for it, hope it is the correct item that arrives, and then there are shipping charges to the island of SXM. If Blue Point has what you want in stock at an acceptable price it is well worth getting it locally, plus it is good to support the local businesses. They are nice guys. They plan to be official Apple Store/Repair folks soon... I don't remember what the term is :)

Then we took the dollar bus back to Ace Hardware to get a gasket kit for our ACE 2-gallon Garden Sprayer. This sprayer is the best one we've found for cockpit showers. It has a pressure relief valve, holds 2 gallons, and has 4 or 5 different types of spray with good pressure. We have had it for several months and it needs a new gasket/O-ring in the pumping unit. We tried Budget Marine but they don't have much selection as it is summer and they run out of lots of stuff that they only order once a year. We went to ACE (doesn't their jingle have something to do with "the helpful hardware place?) and they didn't have a gasket kit for their brand but did for others. The kid doing stock thought I was asking about a wheelbarrow and he told some management guy who was walking past who told him to have "X" help me. Well, I waited for 5 minutes in the garden sprayer aisle which has all of the rodent killer chemicals, slug bait, and other nasty, smelly, gaggy stuff so I hunted down Mr. Management. He said I could bring it back (which it does say on the guarantee on the packaging with no date limitation) along with the receipt. I said I'd have to hunt for the receipt as it was sometime in the last six months... Six months? Oh, that's a long time.... I told him that all I need is the little O-ring and I took a unit apart to show him. I also showed him that he didn't have replacement parts for their own brand. It is silly to replace the whole unit for just an O-ring. He agreed and said they don't stock the kits and they don't sell O-rings and didn't know where we could find an appropriate one... At least he was pleasant... The help at ACE is usually pretty surly. Perhaps it is because they now have competition with the new Kooyman hardware store that opened this year just up the main road from them :)

Next we turned back (direction of Philipsburg) and walked a short way down to the Grande Marche and went into Burger King. (Remember yesterday how we went to a Chinese restaurant and ordered Curry Pork and was given Pork Chop Suey?) We both fancied a Whopper. They said they didn't have any beef as the grill was not working... only chicken or fish. Oh, not the grilled chicken sandwich either. It has to be cooked in the fryer. OK, so I ordered 2 Tendercrisp Chicken combos for $5.99. The bill came to $12.18. I mentioned that it's OK, but 2 x $5.99 is $11.98. She mentioned it to another employee who said that was normal. All of their combos come out higher than the advertised amount for some reason. Do you realize how much extra money they make over the course of a year by charging at least ten cents or more per combo? A nice chunk of change for someone. The sandwich was good, by the way.

Then we went to Grande Marche and did a bit of shopping (we never buy "fresh" meat there). They have a good price on Appleton rum that we like, the Sunflower seed bread is good and we've had good luck with it keeping it for several days before it shows green. They also have quite a selection of books & magazines... boat magazines too! such as WoodenBoat, Sail, Cruising World, etc. Unfortunately, they still don't have the Skippy or Jif (it's been so long I don't remember which brand) peanut butter with no added sugar. We keep looking though.

Next stop was across the street to Cost-U-Less. It is their anniversary sale week. Didn't buy too much there. It is difficult to shop after you've just eaten a big lunch :) Plus, we still have the Cantonese Chicken from yesterday's lunch that we will have for dinner this evening.

We then went across the road to KFC for a coke. You get free refills there, if you wish.

After rehydrating we caught a dollar bus back to Palapa Marina in Simpson Bay where we had parked our dinghy, but first we stopped in at the Island Video DVD rental shop and got 3 DVDs. DVDs you rent on Fridays are not due back 'til Monday. $4 each. Normal rentals are for 2 nights (Rent Monday for example and due back Wednesday). Convenient for boat folks and nice people... They are between The Mailbox and the wine shop/liquor store The Connoisseur's Duty Free (more here)... they still have their rum tastings and they are nice guys, too.

So, finally it is time to get in the dinghy and putt back to So It Goes... whew

Home at last... how nice.... Thanks for the rant!