I was a little confused last year. When I was helping with the donkeys, the manager explained to me how often she goes to the hardware store - usually four times a week. That seemed very common to me. I now understand why that is the case. I now visit one of the hardware stores almost every other day myself. For example today I was at Kooyman's.
The story is quickly told. A few weeks ago, the battery of one of the two multimeters on board was empty. That's not a problem at all, because I have a second multimeter whose battery I replaced last year. These batteries usually last for many years, and humans don't have to measure that much. The second device isn't quite as good as the first, but that's usually why it's second choice. So the battery (a 9V block) comes on my eternal spiritual shopping list and joins various kinds of screws and other things that I would have to get at the hardware store. Should. Could. Things that I don't need right away.
All of Aruba is packed with hardware stores. There are Kooyman, Doit Centers and the countless Chinese hardware stores - the Chinese specialize in selling small quantities. Whenever I need a slice of sandpaper, I always have to buy a whole pack at the big hardware stores. The Chinese also sells them to me individually.
It takes almost nowhere on the island more than five minutes to get to one of the many hardware stores. So the storage at home is replaced by storage in the hardware store and the three required screws are bought individually. Storage in the hardware store is also much cheaper because I only have to pay for the parts that I actually need. Since most of the shops are also open on Sundays, there are never any supply problems. Almost never, because sometimes a certain product is sold out. Then it is usually sold out everywhere because a container is delayed again.
At the checkout, I am always in good company with my mini-purchases. The other customers don't buy anymore either. The actual demand is bought. No more. The waiting time at the checkout is always very limited, the time required for such a purchase is minimal. The reader in Germany may find this method extremely inefficient. However, it is only half as bad if you bundle shopping with other purchases, such as groceries. The only thing that I couldn't concentrate on was today's visit.
Soraida's bus doesn't really want to start on some days. A few weeks ago I had already measured the starter battery, at the time it was inconspicuous and seemed in good shape.
This morning I get a message from Soraida that her bus has starting problems again. Of course, I immediately offer her to measure the battery again. Of course, I use the remaining multimeter for this. That doesn't look good at all. The rotatable switch was accidentally moved during the last transport. The switch is in a different position from “Off” and the not-so-old battery is definitely empty. So I go to Kooyman's and get three 9V blocks. It has to be Kooyman because I've definitely seen those things there before. I've looked for them in vain elsewhere.
The street election campaign is in an annoying top form. Anneke was too late with the donkeys because she got stuck twice on her route in a traffic jam caused by election campaigners. In the meantime I've got used to not following the main roads, but instead driving across them and using smaller side roads. This gives me new insights into Aruba and usually I'm not stuck in traffic. In any case, not many visitors found their way to the Donkey Sanctuary yesterday, in my opinion it is due to the election campaign.
In addition, I still had to think about Klaus today, who wrote to me a while ago that I have probably adapted to local habits a lot more than I might even realize. That may be.