If Mata Hari knew her name was assigned to a one stop huge supermarket, she would rise from her grave. I was intrigued by the name, and then, once inside, and about halfway through the huge building, I realized this was the local A & P.
There is a huge semi-circular canopy outside with the letters in red, and below it are a few steps to help you get to ground level. This is also where many travelers, including myself, almost get suckered into buying property that doesn't exist. So listen up!! As Chuck and I enter the hallway, he is distracted by something else, and a sweet young thing approaches me, gives me an envelope and a card that looks like a lotto game. Scratching off the right circle reveals that I've won 2 T-shirts, but you need to scratch yet another circle to win the free vacation. Wouldn't you have guessed that I'm a winner? Wow..a seven day free hotel stay at a seaside resort with no address, no telephone number, but who cares? the picture looks awesome. Right around now, Chuck is pulling me away, telling me the whole thing is a scam, but the genius here refuses to budge. The excitement of travel can turn any one of us into a blithering idiot! The girl is very sweet, but she now refuses to let me claim my free T-shirts; my suspicious antenna goes up for 1/2 second. She explains that I need to attend a 90 minute seminar on timeshares at which point I can claim T-shirts and free vacation. Neither one of us is going to do this now as we are scheduled for an afternoon tour. She volunteers to pick us up by taxi at the Bali Hai and bring us back to the "resort" sales desk. Ho-hum.
We are now making our way into the supermarket, fleeting past displays of lovely pieces of art and hand carved objects. The assault comes by way of saris, pottery, carvings, and oodles of silver & gold jewelry. Where do I find the mangoes here?
We're there now, and I can't control my laughter as I read the prices on cookies: Rs. 4500 for Biscuits Marie; if you don't let the zeros intimidate you, this comes out to less than one US$. When buying fruit, look very carefully to ensure that the skin is not broken. I felt victorious picking the avocados; fruit in Bali is an epicurian's dream. I became a slave to pineapple, a fruit I had shunned most of my life. Total grocery bill is Rs. 80,000. Another roar of laughter. And the free trip? In the interim, we read on the Bali bulletin boards about another couple's warning vis-a-vis the girls on the steps of Matahari. All the circles on the card are T-shirt winners, and all the circles on the next card are free weekly vacation winners.
For great photos of the supermarket, go to link