…as seen through the hazy safety of an instagram filter.
I was in Mustafa a few weeks ago with my Ma. We seem to go every time she visits; partly because I need someone to come with me or I get sucked in to the void and in part because the nearest shop from her home in Scotland is a 20 minute drive away…and all they sell when you get there are stamps and newspapers which while useful, are not desperately interesting.
When she comes to Singapore she shops. Anywhere.
Going to Mustafa is not for the faint hearted, it requires the right frame of mind and an elastic shopping time. I was in the zone:
My regular buys that I like to stock up on when I’m here are rather varied, to say the least, but the first place I stop by is the supermarket for…wait for it…nuts; lots of nuts and seeds from pumpkin to almond. I appreciate that this may sound a bit odd, but have you tried buying them in Cold Storage or Unity Pharmacy recently? I will simply choke on almonds that cost me over $9 for a measly 250g bag. At Mustafa a heavy 1kg bag is yours for $13.90
Thank you very much. Two bags please (after all, if you’re making granola à la Patience regularly you are going to need a lot of nuts).
And as you have now finally located Nut Aisle, you’d better stock up on all the others that are there, just in case: walnuts, pre-shelled pistachios (brilliant although they do make you feel horribly lazy), cashews, sunflower and pumpkin seeds.
They also sell those lovely un-dyed apricots which come in little wooden boxes and are usually quite hard to find:
Snatch up some boxes of saffron too if you pass any – always good value at Mustafa and they make good presents for tricky people (a ‘Prefect Present’ post to follow shortly – stay tuned).
Anyway – enough about food, the real juice is the jewellery. Not the stuff in the New Extension which is gold and pricey, but the cheap jack jewellery section which nestles deep in the old part of Mustafa. (If you are lost, to avoid any confusion, ask to be directed to the DVDs which are bang next to it; if you mention the word ‘jewellery’, you’ll invariably be directed to the gold stuff.)
Now, only bother reading on if you like digging for treasure. There’s a lot of stuff you don’t want:
…but if you bear with it and look hard, a lot of stuff you do:
We found these Great Gatsby-ish treasures after about 20 minutes of nonchalant hunting and I have had so many complements on mine that I almost feel guilty when I just smile and say thank you.
It cost me $12 and I have must have worn it at least 10 times already; that’s practically down to a dollar a wear…
The other things I bought lots of were these (below)
Ultra long ‘pearl’ and crystal necklaces which can be worn as they come or look good with a simple low knot. They are actually hand knotted, which makes them unbelievable value (yup, also $12).
Nice things generally do cost money but it’s refreshing when, just sometimes, that isn’t the case.
Other finds included these lemongrass incense sticks:
Brilliant for fighting off mozzies outside and smell much nicer than those green mosquito coils I always use. There are a few flavours so sniff hard to find one that smells like it will do the job (I chose lemongrass over citronella as it smelled much more potent).
I also snatched up some big bars of Lindt dark, sea salt specked chocolate for $2. My most favorite flavour; don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it. Also available in Cold Storage but for rather more.
And I love old fashioned soap. There is something immensely pleasurable in using a brand new cake of soap (also love how it’s called a cake). My obsession was sated by a box of three Yardley Red Roses soaps for just $5.20. Although what is unbelievable is that it’s non-promo price is only $6.50. Pears soap is on sale here too; it’s like stepping back in time.
Long live bargain hunting and long live Mustafa!
Everything listed was from a shop I did two weeks ago and should still be in store.