16 January 2017
"Consumavore" One who shops with a focused purpose to gather mass quantities of retail goods at a perceived bargain.
I'm not sure I'm spelling it correctly but it is a word I made up. I coined this word several years ago while shopping at Costco. Now I do like Costco but grabbing that huge cart and entering the halls of discount just does something to a shopper. The people in Costco seem to have a focused drive to get as much of those bargains in their cart as possible. Many use two carts. The look on their faces is quite different from a neighborhood grocery store where most have a more relaxed attitude. I mentioned my consumavore observations to others and they agree, Costco just brings out a different side of people. See if you don't agree next time you shop there.
Living on a boat and shopping in third world countries, one might think I am scoffing at those consumavores. It is true, we delight when we find something other than canned goods or chicken that we enjoy in the tiny grocery stores we visit. We truly delight in the fresh fruits and vegetables we find daily at local markets and stands. But given the chance, that consumavore gene kicks in and we join the masses.
Martinique is known as one of the best shopping islands in the Caribbean. It is! France must heavily subsidize this island from roads and infrastructure to importation of French goods. We even have large grocery stores with dinghy docks in Le Marin. They have a shopping cart corral right at the dock!
Other cruisers told us about the canned duck available in Martinique. Canned duck? I do love my duck but had a hard time imagining it out of a can. It is delicious! The can contains duck quarters, confit (roasted in its own juices) swimming in a quantity of duck fat. Still doesn't sound great? Put the can out in the sun for a few hours or in hot water for an hour. Pierce the can lid on two sides and pour out that golden goodness in a tupperware container to save and savor! Roast the duck in a hot oven for about 15 minutes to heat and brown the skin. Yummy! Better yet, use that duck fat to roast potatoes or in a rice dish. The smell alone is a delight.
The cans are anywhere from 800 grams to 1800 grams. Prices are from $7 to $14/can. We were in Hypermarche, a huge store and asked a stock boy to help us get the last two 1800 gram cans from the top shelf. I told him in my best French that we live on a boat and canned duck is a specialty for us. The tag on the shelf read "promo 8.99 euro." After helping us retrieve 5 of these cans, we both noticed the cans were in the wrong spot, the price should have been 13.99E. Livio said, "I will get you the 8.99E price. Just ask for me when you check out." Now this was a store the size of a Walmart but mostly food. When we were about to check out, we saw Livio and he followed us to the casse. He instructed the lady to charge us only 8.99. What a bargain.
That's not all. Canned artichokes are only about $2/can. All kinds of pate are about $1/can. Olives, black and green in plastic pouches were also a bargain. They have big, fat rolls of paper towels for 10E that seem to last for a month. The paper is thin but works just fine.
Since we had rented a car, we made another stop to Inter Caves, a wine dealer. Damion greeted us like old friends. We loaded another 3 cases of wine into our little Renault. You can't imagine how our loaded dinghy looked. Good thing it was dark, someone would have called the coast guard to report a sinking dink if they saw us. And it started raining on the way back to Uproar but not too hard.
Poor Uproar, another heavy load. We had to lift everything out of the dinghy to the swim platform. Then into the cockpit, around the wheel and to the top of the companionway steps. Then into the cabin. Poor Lisa, she made everything disappear, once again. Uproar swallows cargo like a freighter! Yes, given the chance, we join the ranks of consumavores.