Shopping in Fairbanks can be a game. It requires knowledge, experience, timing–and luck

A friend told me she always tries to go to the store before noon on Saturday. If she arrives too late, some shelves will be bare and won’t be stocked again until Tuesday.

I do my one-stop shopping at Fred Meyer. When I arrived last fall, I was pleasantly surprised to discover the store has everything, including the organic fruits, vegetables and other products I want. In Oregon, I shop at the First Alternative Coop in Corvallis. I would not shop in a giant box store, as Fred Meyer, Costco, Sam’s Club and Wal-mart are called here.

Today I stopped by mid-afternoon. I wanted bananas. (I make smoothies most day.) Usually Fred Meyer offers a choice of regular and organic bananas; often they arrive green. No sweat. They ripen quickly and green bananas are better than no bananas. I circled the produce section.

No organic bananas. No regular bananas. No bananas.

I asked a guy stocking produce if they had any bananas.

“Nope. Truck’s in a ditch in Canada,” he said. “It was supposed to be here yesterday. It was supposed to be here today. We’ll get a regular shipment tomorrow.”

No bananas today. There’s always tomorrow.