Daily Photo–Plain Old Prawns
I love grocery shopping in Abu Dhabi. It might make sense to tell you how much I love to cook, so you understand that. I have actually blogged about my love of food shopping extensively in case you missed it, or you care to read about it. Most people seem to detest food shopping–especially those who don’t like to cook or just dread the inevitable question (usually coming from multiple, loud sources): “What’s For Dinner, mom?” For me, grocery shopping opens up a world of possibilities. I’ll admit it’s a bit more exciting for me here than it was in the USA. There are just so many unusual items and, for some reason, the stock of all the markets here constantly shifts. I have no idea why but one day pancake mix will be with Baking Needs. The next time you visit, it has jumped over to Coffee & Tea. It’s like a scavenger hunt or like trying to jump into someone’s psyche. Why would he put that here and not there? What was his reasoning? Sometimes, like the pancake mix, it seems logical. Other times, it makes absolutely no sense why an item is where it is. I am coming up blank on any item in particular at this moment, but I’ll think of one soon. Sometimes, something you desperately need is LONG out of stock here, like Goldfish crackers. You wait and you wait until your ship literally comes in and they are suddenly there.
Today, I shopped at Carrefour. I often whip out my iPhone when I see something pretty that catches my eye, and nearby shoppers giggle and point at me. “Tourist,” they are probably snickering in whatever language they speak–luckily I don’t understand it. Often the guys working at whatever area I am gawking and taking photos of take interest. They sometimes help me to take a better shot. They tell me things that are mostly incomprehensible about the item. They laugh at me too, but I can tell they like it. After all, I am admiring their handiwork most of the time: the arrangement, they think. Often, I just think something plain weird. Today, these gorgeous prawns caught my eye! The colors are so much more vibrant than those at home. I don’t know why. All the colors of the food here are more vibrant. It’s odd because nothing really is local to this place–other than camel milk, dates and honey. They first two are rarely on my shopping list. I cannot figure out why a fertile and blessed country like the USA produces such dull looking foods: tasteless fruit and vegetables, colorless egg yolks and bland, pekid looking butter. I have my theories, but that’s for another blog.
Tonight, I am making Vietnamese summer rolls. I have been craving these things for 6 long months. I thought you couldn’t find the wrappers here, but sure enough there they were the other day just like magic. Now, I see them everywhere. Life’s like that, isn’t it?