Haitian presidential elections are tomorrow, and in preparation for post-election violence, people are stocking up on food and drinking water, ready to remain in their homes should angry protesters flood the streets once election results are announced. Most NGOs, Sara’s included, plan to remain closed on Monday, believing that if history is any indicator, security problems are inevitable. My Haitian French teacher told me that after the last election, she was unable to leave her home for 5 full days, and she expects the same this time around.
However, Sara and I may have gotten to the grocery store a bit too late this morning, a day after most Haitians had already stocked up. The shelves, though they were not empty, were terribly picked over, and, for example, there was not a baguette in sight (and very little fresh produce). But we got the fundamentals and finally found French bread at the bakery near Sara’s office.
At any rate, we are well-supplied in the event of violence or political unrest: plenty of fuel for the generator, batteries for emergency lighting, and a solar powered radio to hear election results via our guards.
We are so well supplied, in fact—that Saint Sara is laughing at me as I write this, pointing out that, including the 4 cans of diced tomatoes I bought today, we now have a grand total of 13, and including the 2 I purchased this morning, we now have 14 bottles of salad dressing—blue cheese, balsamic vinaigrette, and honey mustard varies all lined in lovely rows. Not to mention the 15 two liter bottles of Coke Zero, equally well-ordered. Saint Sara’s soldiering of the surplus, so to speak
Okay, okay, I admit it—I’m obsessed. I over-shop. I over-stock. It’s a sickness.
But couldn’t I blame this on the political climate here in Haiti, the potential for civil unrest, the need to be well-supplied in the event of disaster? Yes—
—But I blame it on the DNA—
—Claiming, as my grandmother did when my aunt asked why she had so much toilet paper—a floor-to-ceiling-sized pantry full—
“I’m keeping it so all the hoarders don’t get it!”
What supplies are surplus-ed in your pantry?