Wednesday, July 14

Shopping For Man Stuff

Photo: Gayam and W. M. Upali the tuktuk driver, we are eating fishy buns to fortify ourselves for the journey ahead.

Four hours before I took that photo, Gayam and I had come to town in a jeep, we were in search of lunchboxes, batteries, chargers, clips, leads and other motor-related items, we also needed a piece of ply the size of a small coffee table top.

In town there are lots of everything shops, they are divided into two types; the ones that sell women’s things like household items, crayons, key rings and shinyshiny. The other everything shops sell men’s things; loudspeakers, bendy tubes, wheelbarrows and batteries.

Most of my items needed to come from the Man Shops, we chose the ones with most car batteries stacked up outside them but each shop only had one component on my list, we went from one shop to another and back again assembling a compatible set of items, none of which are guaranteed - when you find the charger that works with the battery you are thinking of buying, you accompany the owner down the road to a place where the equipment can be tested to everyone's satisfaction - we spent two hours on the Man Stuff.

Prior to all this we had spent an hour in the bank, our jeep driver now had to leave us, he introduced us to his friend W.M who would drive us back to the lodge in his tuktuk.

Last item on the list was the piece of ply - the shop would only sell us a whole sheet, the whole sheet was the dimensions of a king-sized bed but a bit longer.

cutting is not possible

A tuktuk is a three-wheeled mo-ped in a cabin with a soft roof, they are usually decorated, this one had gold fringing around the windscreen, a vase of flowers on the dashboard and a red and yellow garland hanging from the ceiling. The three of us looked at the big sheet of wood, then at the tuktuk, we went for tea and fishy buns then we returned to heave the ply onto the roof of the vehicle, we got in and each put an arm out, clamping the sheet onto the roof with a hand - finally ready, we put-putted along the pot-holed road for an hour - all the way home.


  1. Sounds hideously familiar...the times I have spent with my arm clamped round an over length lump of wood which is strapped precariously the length of the car...
    Nice to be reminded of tuc tucs again. The last one I saw was in Honduras, where we took one to get down to the garage to see how the car repair was going...only to be followed by two other tuc tucs full of eager spectators. I imagine life was normally quite dull in that little town...

  2. Should we be grateful for B&Q? The Sri Lankan version sounds a lot more fun.
    Loving the new header!

  3. If he could have driven a bit faster, yu'd have been flying home...

  4. "Stuff For Women" and "Stuff For Men" shops! HA!

    Do the shopkeepers get all huffy if one goes into the wrong shop because one has mis-judged the item's gender? i.e. like in France, if one mis-uses "le" or "la?"

  5. I alluded to the local shopping mall in my last comment ... it's a big thing, big food court and hundreds of shops - just for women. There are two stores that I know of that cater to men - a knife store and the Apple Store.... tho women do buy Apple stuff. Rarely do I see women in the knife store.

  6. The fishy rolls look rather good, and it all sounds rather fun. Love the tuktuk picture, X

  7. Third world definitely didn't come with a rational button. Stuff like this happens in SA all the time too. It's one of the things I love.

  8. Oh how I love your adventures, Lulu!

  9. Hmmm -- it sounds like a scavenger hunt that no one really wins.

    Also, that it is the most amazingly gorgeous sketch of a ridiculous make-shift ply carriage that I have ever seen!

  10. Mrs Fly - glad to be taking you down Memory Lane. On the whole I do enjoy people's curiosity.

    Honduras sounds fascinating.

    Scarlet - I am always grateful to B & Q but also rather glad that these places exist too.

    Nota Bene - I think we did leave the ground several times.

    xl Do the shopkeepers get all huffy if one goes into the wrong shop They never get huffy these people are endlessly delightful

    Will - This mall place you speak of, we have these in the UK, there are many men in these places who come to worship Gods with names like Nike and Playstation. The men also like someone who I think must be a farmer - his name is Macdonald.

    Eryl - fishy buns are surprisingly delicious. I plan to to more tuktukking too.

    Dolce - Hurrah for irrationality and the little shops

    Scribe Thank you darlin' x

    katrocket - the prize seems all the more valuable for the fight.

    and thank you too.x

  11. oh travelling is such fun isn't it?

  12. I love Tuk-Tuk's they are fabulous!!!

  13. i think i would get much more done if i had fishy buns & tea before a major chore....
    i too, love the tuktuk sketch!

  14. Nursey - yesyesyes

    ED - me too

    Deb - fishy buns fires a girl up.

    lovin' your new avatar


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