27 Aug (Sun)

James and I go shopping in the rain again. Here are the offerings at what we believe to be the best store for produce (in the upper upper market): green tomatoes, mystery veg,

pomegranates, Asian pears, broad beans, garlic, onions, okra, mango, ginger, mystery “Indian” veg, brinjal (Indian eggplant), and the thing that Ugyen says is too sour to eat at this size (and that James abhors at any size).

This was the last broccoli we saw (in among the cabbage), ugli fruit, lots of chilis (the national dish), daikon radish, Bhutanese eggplant, some apples, a few bananas (these vanished from all the shops for a few weeks and the family went into mourning).

Even pineapple! And weird lime-looking sour oranges. And local ferns (which I was warned off of because they’re hard to wash properly). But Zoë had them at Tshoki and Sonam’s and thought they were nice!

Unfortunately, the pomegranates we bought with great enthusiasm were half rotted, the tomatoes are hard even when slightly redder. But we’re loving the green beans.

Inside the shop we find dry staples (rice, dal), ramen, and various forms of junk food (those are packages of potato chips hanging up as strips) and toiletries.

A packet of crackers costs about a third of the price of a week’s worth of vegetables. (“100 rupees for 1 kg of tomatoes this week,” Mr. Pant informed us. [One kay gee is what they say in the shops here.] “Is that a lot or a little?” I ask. “Very high price,” he replies, shaking his head. That’s about $1.50 for a kilo of tomatoes. Outrageous. From an Indian or Bhutanese perspective.)

Outside the shop is a bucket of natural broom material (and a sleeping dog, who looks like a cat).

The rain doesn’t stop the dart tournament at the school field. I loved the singing that went along with the match.