One of the big differences were the Grocery Stores
Our favourite grocery store in Lome down the road gave us access to limited edition Salamis from certain regions in France along with beautiful cheeses. (I still dream about the sandwiches I created there day after day). Baguettes were in abundant supply along with French yoghurt, French jams, French biscuits, French candies, French wine, you get the picture. One of our favourite shopping places was a place called Citi Mart. they imported many things from America and it was where I would stock up on premade brownie mix, rootbeer, gingerale, the occasional mac n' cheese and certain breakfast cereals. We also had a basket of veggies/fruits from a farm co-op delivered to our door every second week full. It was after many failed attempts that we realized sometimes it is impossible to tell the difference between a banana and a plantain until you bite into it.
The first time we walked into what was then Shoprite in Dar Daniel and I marveled at how much stock was on the shelves and how many different brands of items there were. We counted 3 different types of canned peas, 3 different brands of jam with at least 12 different flavours, they also had 5 different brands of dish soap! 5! Then we found out that there are at least 6 well stocked grocery stores 10 minutes down the road from us. As the years passed that number grew and I think now we are at 11 at the very least though we are still waiting for one to open up within walking distance of our house.
|Shopping in Champion Supermarche frozen foods/drinks asile in Lome back in 2013|
While grocery stores are something else, one thing that has been lovely is the variety of fresh fruits and veggies you can get for cheap. When you head out to the village prices are even cheaper. That's why when we go to the village we budget at least one extra hour on the way home so we can buy fresh white or yellow pineapples, buckets full of tomatoes or passion fruits, huge bunches of bananas and the list just goes on.
|A fruit and veggie vendor that used to be down the road. Two years ago these stands were torn down for violating|
some sort of code and they have yet to be built up again.