We can buy most of the basics and more here but shopping is nevertheless very limited. Add to the fact that our one and only furniture and bicycle shop closed recently and the shopping scene is a little bleaker. Woolies has a huge variety of groceries and goodies ... far more than what I would ever actually want to use so that is fine. Thank goodness for online shopping!
I never got around to buying scatter cushions in South Africa ... partly because of the fact that I couldn't decide which ones to buy. Go to a shopping mall (even in Witbank!) where you will find home decor stores next to more home decor stores, all with stacks of pillow in gorgeous finishes and in a lovely variety of different colours. I should have jumped off the fence and just bought any old ones for the container but that wasn't exactly a priority while preparing to leave. I got here and discovered that no one in town sells scatter cushions, not even the pillow inners so you can make your own covers. Buying them mail order seems insane due to the bulk of them. You can't even buy material in town anymore. The furniture shop used to sell curtaining but now even that is no longer possible.
And then the other day at Woolies, I saw two big fat faux suede scatter pillows sitting in a specials basket near the till. I pounced on them and wouldn't let go! When you see goods that aren't usually carried by the shops here, you have to act without hesitation. They are chocolate brown so they totally disappear into our choc brown leather lounge suite, but they are scatter pillows nevertheless and at least they don't clash. Think I should bead them or something to glam them up a bit.
Added to the regular shops here, we experience the phenomenon of nomadic merchants who travel from town to town with their caravans and trailers. They set up shop for a couple of days in a parking lot well used by such sellers and then disappear off to the next town. We have a fish truck from the coast that visits every second week loaded with frozen fish. I've been looking for some more leggings for bub (none in town) so just about screeched to a halt when I saw a temporary clothes shop set up in the parking lot the other day. No luck but I got her a 'Dora the Explorer' t-shirt instead. This weekend another huge caravan was parked there selling ugg boots and shoes.
Nomadic baby photographers also visit regularly. The lot that have just town left travelled by road all the way from the Gold Coast, stopping in each town. Must be an interesting way to see Australia. They do the photo shoots and then another team returns to town with packs of photos already printed. You pick what you want and pay. The full packs including a CD seem dreadfully expensive to me (almost $600) but there you have it. Another interesting aspect of life in the outback!