A quick day-trip down to Belakang Padang over the weekend to attend a wedding.
However, it's an open secret that the wedding is just a lame excuse for the real reason that we all troop there - shopping!
Sure, the market place is no longer like back in its heyday, when residents of neighbouring islands drop by there to do their shopping. Well, until they totally develop the main island of Batam and people start flocking there instead.
For those in the unknown Belakang Padang is 5-10mins boat ride away (depending on what boat you take) from the port of Sekupang, Batam.
Heck, even the ferries from Singapore used to stop there back in those days!
But stuff that can be obtained there are worth checking out.
It's no surprise when my aunties admit that they really need to stock up on lots of things like groceries, tidbits/snacks, cleaning agents & even medication!
All of which, we haul back to Singapore by the cartons/boxes.
My aunt had the grocer pack a box of Mie Sedap instant noodles, with all the flavours offered by the brand mixed inside.
Her daughter kept a mental note on all the tidbits she saw being advertised on the Indo channels that she watched religiously. Any new products will be taken note of and she will make sure she try them out.
By 'trying', she will buy a box of the said product.
I should really recommend her to start a blog, posting entries with reviews of the various products that she's tried.
My mum meanwhile, she'll stock up on their detergent. They seem to work pretty well somehow. Too bad, they sell in such small portions, to cater to the locals, most of whom can only afford to buy a little at a time (that's why most products come in sachets).
For eg. washing detergents here are sold in 5 kg packs. Over there, they only sell in 1 kg packs. So my mum will purchase 5 packs of them. Dun ask how we cary them back.
Same goes for their supplements & medications. Their cough syrup that come in sachets, we buy a whole box of them. Similarly for their cooling soda powder mix (like Eno). A box had 5 sachets. We bought a whole pack with 20 of those boxes.
Seeing that we bought so many of certain items (esp. medication), we're lucky to pass thru' the customs. I think we could have started a small business with the amount of stuff we brought back!
Needless to say, shopowners are gleeful when they see us.
And did I tell you how cheap these stuff are..?!
Cos' we won't know when we'll be dropping by there next and the price of the ferry tickets never cease to increase. Gotta' make the trip worth it.