Friday, May 24, 2013

Food on the Islands

I'm not a "foodie". I don't take pictures of food so don't expect to see that, but the food situation in the Cook Islands is interesting to stay the least.

First off, food is VERY expensive. I had read that in blogs and travel sites, but they weren't kidding. $25 for 2 kg of frozen "nibbles" (little chicken parts with bones), $6.90 for frozen corn/peas, $25.90 for a kg of yellow bell pepper, $8.30 for a container of juice and $9.50 for a kg of tomatoes! We had to get really creative with our food consumption.

(But not this creative -eww)

We took full advantage of the breakfast from Palm Grove and ate well! Love the FRUIT!

Not this stuff so much, though. Eww. I couldn't understand how New Zealanders would spread it on their bread.

From there we would usually manage to eat an early dinner and skip lunch. On our excursion after Avarua Primary, we were wandering through town when some of the students saw us and came over to chat (imagine, paparazzi for US!). We asked them where we should eat and they both pointed to "Boogies". With a name like that, how can you go wrong. We thanked them and headed over to this tiny shack off the main drag across from a very expensive Trader Jack's (which was a fine establishment; we were just too cheap!).

Holy Moses, that was a fantastic burger! Kira and I had chicken, Jeff had a fish burger. When we told the lady working the counter that some Avarua students send us there, she gave us some free "chips" (or "fries" in the United States). The burgers had shredded carrots and beet in them (which was a little alarming when it dripped onto your white plate).

From Boogies, we got ice cream ("Tip Tops") which were $2.00 for a scoop! Talk about a bargain! Since it was so hot, we opted for the single as the double would melt in a heartbeat. Right choice - even then single was a mess.

Which leads us to the bathroom (great segway, eh?). My hands were an ice-cream-sticky-mess so I headed into the public bathroom in the park. I washed my hands and went to find a paper towel. Nothing. Nowhere. No blow dryer either. Imagine.

Come to find out, I would not see a paper towel until I returned to Los Angeles. Garbage has to go somewhere and on an island the size of a small US city, there was nowhere for it to go! We even saw plastic cups being rewashed for reuse. It was amazing how often I reached for something disposable only to find it not there. Toilet paper existed, but it was dang expensive. In other hotels in the US, you would find three backup rolls in your room. Not in Cooks. When it got to 1/4 inch of a roll, then they would bring in an extra.

From the washup station, we went to jail, but I'll save that for another post :)

To read back posts click here:

Going To School While On Vacation

Kayaking the Pacific Ocean

Roundabouts, Rental Cars and the Police Station

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