Good morning, and Happy New Year!
As always, I spent some time on my recent holiday to Bali visiting convenience stores, (I know, I’m a blast to go away with!) and food to go outlets in the villages and towns that I found myself in. Here’s what I learnt-
WH Smith has a presence in the airpot and in some major towns. The range is not dissimilar to in the UK, but they have a hot food to go counter. The FTG counter seems to cater for western tastes but, of course, also has the ubiquitous “cup of noodles” offer that every other store has too. And Mentos, why does every travel outlet in every country sell Mentos? Picture below
In the villages, local convenience stores aresmall road-side stalls that sell a mixture of fresh produce (vegetables and fruit), basic household need (cleaning products, bottled water) and also have the ability to cook you up some noodles on demand (naturally). In one area, I watched each day, whilst on my morning run, as a man on a motorbike arrived with a complicated, and, quite frankly, dangerous, tower of supplies perched on the back for the ladies at the roadside to buy their stock from.
And finally, I learnt that the Balinese convenience store owners are incredibly enterprising. The picture below shows a messy, makeshift stall at the side of a river that serves the local white water rafting route. The women who run the stall have to clamber their way down the side of a treacherous hill with their goods tied to them, set up stall and then serve the tourists who sail past throughout the day. Beer stored in ice, crisps, soft drinks and, of course, the ability to heat water to add to a cup of spicy noodles!
This being my first week back after an extended break, I have a busy weekend ahead of me; tonight, I will be watching, openmouthed, the inauguration of an unlikely candidate as the next President of the United States. This will require a LOT of wine. Tomorrow, lunch with a friend and then Sunday I’m off down to Surrey for lunch at an ex-collegaue’s house. It’s good to be back!
Have a great weekend and keep your pictures/comments coming!