Shopping in the US: Behold the Pee Funnel

As I mentioned in my previous post, I spent my day yesterday shopping – mainly for sports-related gear.

One of my proudest accomplishments of the day was coming across the pee funnel. On Kilimanjaro, because of the high altitude and also because of the diuretic pills we were taking as a prophylactic against altitude sickness, we were all peeing at a particularly high rate. My pee rate was higher than any other: once every half an hour. I seem to remember explaining in lurid detail my pee excursions on Mt Kilimanjaro. Or did I? I could, of course, explain this to you all once again just in case. But to make things short, going out at 2am in the morning at an altitude of 3800 meters to pee sucks. It really does. It is so desperately cold out there. Of course, on Kilimanjaro we were staying in huts in groups of three and four. So on my Kili trip, there was no avoiding leaving the hut to pee. I definitely have much lower inhibitions now since that trip. For goodness sake, I’d wait till it was after dark and pee right next to the hut, not caring if anyone suddenly walked out of the hut right in front of me. There was nothing that would make me walk all the way to those horrid toilets they had at Horombo camp. But those lower inhibitions have not yet reached the stage where I’d be comfortable being in a hut with two other women in it.  But I’ll probably be staying in a tent on my next mountain. And I’ll make sure to stay in that tent alone; just so’s I can use my new pee funnel. I’ll have to make sure I have a designated pee bottle first, of course. But that’s the easy part. Shucks. I have a pee funnel now!

That pee funnel would have come in handy while we were on safari. On safari on the Serengeti I did sleep in a tent – alone. I ventured out of my tent at night just once to pee. On that excursion, the eyes of a hyena reflected the light from my headlamp on my way to the toilet. He ran right in front of me and hid just behind the bathroom. I could see his shiny eyes every time I pointed my headlamp towards him. Freaky! During the subsequent nights I heard lions, elephants, hyenas, baboons and all sorts of scary animals playing around our tent at night. Right next to my tent in one camp was a huge pile of elephant dung. All night long I had nightmares of an elephant stomping into our camp and not noticing my tent situated right at the edge of the bush, bumping into it, and trampling over me. I never left my tent to pee at night again on that safari trip. That pee funnel certainly would have come in handy then.

I went grocery shopping yesterday evening as well. I’m staying at a hotel in San Diego, but breakfast isn’t included as part of the package. So I thought, rather than pay for expensive breakfasts, I’ll buy some breakfast foods and keep them in my hotel room.

Do you know how hard it is to find small food products in an American grocery store? What is wrong with these people? They are obsessed with super-large family sizes! I have a family of six and I don’t buy as much food as Americans seem to buy. While waiting to pay for my food, a small family of three was emptying their shopping cart in front of me. Two adults and a small baby. That doesn’t even count as three. But the stuff they had in that cart! My goodness! They couldn’t possibly finish all that. It just isn’t possible.

All I wanted was a small loaf of bread, a small peanut butter jar, a small jar of jam/jelly/preserves, a small box of a healthy cereal, some milk and some juice. I’m here for more than a week and that would get me through the week with some variety. I found none of the above in small sizes. None of them. Heck. Even the loaves of bread in this country are ginormous. And the stuff the Americans put in their food! There was a jar of apricot preserves that said it was sugar free. I read the ingredients and found it contained all sorts of artificial ingredients in addition to an artificial sugar. What the heck is wrong with an apricot preserve just being an apricot preserve?? Apricots are sweet to begin with! You’d think with all the health-related programs they have on American television that Americans would have gotten it by now. I am rather doubting they have.

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