This Is What I’m Having For Dinner.

My Dinner.

The picture says it all. I am in dire need for grocery shopping. My roommate and I have decided in the beginning of the semester to rent a car every three weeks to stock up on groceries for the next three weeks. For the first time around, I overestimated my appetite and bought more than enough of what I need. So I figured, I’d buy less the second time. Well, oops. Look at what happened for tonight’s dinner. Not even a bun.

Living in St. Maarten, I do not have the accessibility or finances to drive or walk to a grocery store as easily. I find myself having to make financial and time management decisions on very basic activities that I had the luxury of not worrying about before.

I now consider if renting a car for $15/person is worth taking the trip to Le Grande Marche where the prices are lower, versus walking to the local Food Express 25 minutes away where the prices are generally 30-40% more expensive and my limitation is on how much I can fit in my backpack and my hands. At Le Grande Marche, I also have to buy enough to last me, yet not buy too much to hog up the fridge that I share with my roommate. We also need to buy enough to where both of us will run out of food around the same time so we can rent a car together to save money. Our fridge is pretty empty now.

Yes, it is true that I can no longer just jump in a car and go to the grocery store across the street as I could when I lived in Athens, Georgia. But this new experience gives me an opportunity to learn to estimate and balance my resources, especially as a future doctor. As a physician, where work hours are long and hard, I will have to balance my time, resources, and energy between my work and my family.They are the bun to my hamburger.

It’s a good thing tomorrow is our three-week mark, and we’re getting a car to do grocery. In a way, I almost estimated my resources correctly, except a day too short. We’ll see how long the next batch will last me. But for now, I’ll try to enjoy my humble dinner.

Oh, and Mom and Dad, don’t worry. The meat is made of turkey, and the cheese is fat-free. 😉

**UPDATE 5/2010**

Le Gourmet Marche has just opened a location in Porto Cupecoy. Now, I can buy groceries only 15 minutes walking from campus. The prices are also the same as Le Grande Marche for the same products (and offers 5% student discount), since it’s the same company. They also carpool 3 or more students for free!