I found an avocado for $3 in Queenstown.
Yup. It’s true.
And although what I am about to share with you will surely collapse the black market of this shrivelled and shrunken head of a vegetable, you have a right to know my discovery…
Having no money whatsoever really helps you to stick to a budget, so it was pure masochism that had me trudging the sweetie aisles of Four Square’s supermarket. I love food, but since I moved to New Zealand, it’s been an exhausting battle between want and need.
That was until I discovered the Asian Mart, right by Dominoes.
Holey cheap guacamoley.
It’s difficult to make a supermarket sound exciting, but for a poor vegetarian who’d been eating mushrooms, tinned tomatoes and fusilli pasta for weeks, it was paradise.
Freezers stuffed with budget-friendly veggies hummed by the door, aisles of curry pastes, tom yum soups and pickled things stretched away from me as I stood paralysed in foodie heaven. Though the fresh fruit and veg looked tired – the bananas were ripe for baking in bread – with a good scrub and a roast they’d do the job fine.
It was a tiny shop, but I wandered for half an hour, mesmirised by packets showing saucer-eyed cats eating cookies, and reading the tiny translations of the Japanese and Chinese products with delight.
Picking up a hefty red onion, Thai green paste and some coconut milk (to make my first sweet potato curry in months), I headed to the counter, feeling pretty chuffed with myself when it came to a tidy $7.40.
The lady behind the till was all smiles, until my card got declined.
She tried again and we both listened to the bad-tone beep that sounded like the machine was telling me off.
I fortunately was able to run to the cashpoint and get my new credit card working – dangerous move! Asian Mart is on Shotover St – you’re welcome.