The highlight of yesterday was pulling over to the side of the road where P-monster bought me four sweetly garish giant parrot balloons, as P pulled each one in through the drivers seat window, I was giggling at the absurdity and at how deliriously happy I was. At $5 dollars a piece I think we probably made the street seller's week. With $20 dollars worth of blow up creatures in the back of the car, we headed for the supermarket for my weekly outing to the world outside the walls of the clinic. The brightly lit and immaculately organised shelving system of Finest was blowing my mind - upstairs a plethora of products thronged the aisles and I made merry with the shopping basket. Here I am stocking up on shampoos and shower gel and, even for me, I'm overwhelmed by the sheer number of different L'oreal beautifying potions one can purchase. I'm particularly unattracted to the whitening washes and creams - spending half my time chasing after a sun kissed glow - the idea of a Michael Jackson powder white mask for a face is not exactly ideal. I am reminded of Mazar's wife's photos - he's been showing them to me on his computer - her wedding photos showed her heavily made up in a selection of elaborate, glitter laden costumes, her face pancaked in white, lips and eyes starkly outlined in luminous peacock, absolutely no trace of a smile, the look: Extreme Geisha.
- buying things here is like being at Butlins with some kind of holiday tokens, prices are in Afs and I'm paying in dollars, I can't get my head around what it is I'm spending and hand over a hundred dollar note like monopoly money. I don't really feel the pain like I'm spending real money for real things. I obviously 'need' the stuff I'm buying by the tubful and manage to spend eighty dollars on hair products and jalapenos. We cart out two shopping bags worth of fripperies and nonsense and stick them in the back of the car with our newly purchased air-filled parrot friends.