This is the day my housemate and I moved into our apartment. This is our receipt from Shoprite. To an American, it maybe doesn’t look that extreme. Let me explain how we normally shopped at Shoprite. Because we always took public transportation, we could only ever buy what we could carry home in a very crowded chapa. We bought all our fresh produce at the market, so it was only things like milk, yogurt, cheese, cereal, and canned corn that we would pick up at Shoprite. I’d usually squeeze them into my backpack.
The day we moved, we borrowed a friend’s car knowing we needed to start from scratch to stock up our apartment. This included buying all our regular food plus those things you typically only buy every several months or even just once like cleaning supplies, flour and sugar, spices, aluminum foil, toilet paper, etc. That was the only day in my two years in Mozambique that I actually used a cart. We shopped like Americans and filled it to the top. We were completely paranoid the whole time, wondering which Mozambican friends we would bump into. Clearly our shopping trip looked extravagant. We didn’t want anyone calculating how much money we were spending. To a Mozambican it was an obscene amount. And we had to pay in cash because, well, that’s the only way to purchase anything in Beira. As I recall, we got out of there risk free and happily set about setting up our kitchen, exclaiming that we had never seen such a long Shoprite receipt.