Shopping in Tenerife, Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

Posted: August 1, 2010 in Life, Spain, Tenerife, Travel
Tags: , , , , , ,

It felt like that scene at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark; I stared bewilderedly at a wall of identical looking objects, unable to tell which held the treasure I wanted.

Choosing papel higiénico, or toilet paper to use the more crass English term, in Tenerife can be an overwhelming task. Without going into the details, it’s taken us years to find good papel higiénico. This is partly because a lot of the stuff out there is crap, but also because I’ve been involved in a battle of wits with the Al Campo supermarket in La Orotava since we moved to Tenerife. I find something I like, they immediately cease stocking it.

They’ve done this twice with the papel higiénico. On Friday, as I stared at the overwhelming wall of white rolls, it appeared that they’d done it for the third time.

Not only was my preferred brand conspicuous by it’s absence, I couldn’t see any packs which only held 12 rolls. The aisle was full of jumbo packs with a million rolls in each (plus another million gratis). These are presumably aimed at the Spanish mainlanders and their small-town-sized extended families, on holiday here at the moment, to whom the mere mention of the word ‘contraception’ would probably have the same effect as a shaft of light hitting a vampire.

The second thing that had me wanting to scream ‘come on guys, you do know what these are used for don’t you?’ was the fact that amongst the zillion brands, there wasn’t one which was just your average no-nonsense toilet roll.

There were megarolls, ones scented with aloe vera and ones with double quilted sheets. Then there were extra thick rolls, recycled rolls (I’ve never felt comfortable with that concept), ones filled with eiderdown and packs with hand-painted traditional Canarian scenes. Okay I made the last two up, but it’s only a matter of time. There was even one which boasted that it was a kilometre long – no kidding.
At the other end of the scale, there were the no frills budget packs containing the Spanish versions of Izal; a fast track to chafe city.

I felt like falling to my knees wailing ‘I don’t want something I can use as a duvet or that doubles as greaseproof paper, I just want a pack of bog-standard toilet paper.’

And then, behind a jumble of collapsed packs I spotted my Ark of the Covenant – one lonely twelve pack of my favourite brand. I grabbed it before anyone else could and ran off chuntering happily like a demented madman.

This is what living on Tenerife reduces you to.

As it turned out the perforations on the roll didn’t actually go all the way across so, when tugged, sheets come away in shreds. My bad; I suppose a perfectly perforated ‘normal’ toilet roll was just too much to ask for.

  1. Aeon says:

    yeah I know- most toilet paper seems to fall apart just by looking at it,as thin as it is, and the other ones are too soft and last about four times! I found a good one quite quick though, and I hope it will still be available inte the future: Bosque Verde Papel para Hogar recambio 2 capas,60 metros por rollo. It´s strong and lasts a long time 🙂

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