Sunday, June 25, 2006

Grocery Shopping in Dubai

I often have fresh vegetables, which means (if I can't eat the lot) that I need some way to store the remains. So I went to my local hypermarket for some storage bags, and I found one with a 'free gift.' I wasn't sure what, exactly, the free gift consisted of, but I figured, free is free.

On tearing off the plastic wrap (on my plastic wraps), I found a school kit consisting of a yellow bag containing a ruler, pencil, eraser, and sharpener. (I intend to keep the free gift for the next friend who has a school child.)

Inside the bag was a coupon for a drawing, in which I could win a car (I don't actually drive, but that's beside the point). Only the coupon expired in 2004. I purchased the storage bags last Thursday, which (I think) was sometime in 2006. My first thought was that the coupon was for the US, and the box of storage bags just made it to the UAE, but the coupon had a Dubai phone number to call to see if I'd won (provided I called before June, 2004). Perhaps I should have purchased storage bags at this hypermarket 2 years ago, but I do not recall seeing these storage bags before last month.

I've heard of this in the US: offer a contest with a great prize; people queue up to do whatever is necessary; then don't bother awarding the prize (or award it to a stooge). But not recently.


In another grocery, one based on a British model, I am accustomed to purchase my bread. I've never seen this chain in the UK, but it is ubiquitous throughout the Arabian Peninsula, providing the UK ex-pats with their customary fare. Piled high in this grocery store are leavened rolls, leaven being an interloper to this part of the world. I went in to purchase enough rolls for my supper, but the rolls had more fauna than flora: they were covered in flies. Volpone's Mosca seems to have settled into this part of the world to stay. I left without my bread.


In the days of my youth, I read the story of Toad, who was gaoled for stealing a car. He went on hunger strike, but could not maintain his strike when offered 'bubble and squeak.' For the better part of a quarter century, I've wondered, 'What the heck is bubble and squeak?'

A few weeks ago, the UAE newspapers gave a recipe: mashed potatos, shredded cabbage, and the traditional British goat bacon. I'm sorry, but in my time in the UK, I didn't see much goat bacon. But who am I to contradict the UAE newspapers?

Then, about a week ago, I saw in the UK-oriented grocery packages of 'Bubble and Squeak' (vegetarian version). I resisted for about 2 1/2 minutes, then I had to purchase a package to see what it was (mashed potato, shredded cabbage, and broccoli). I'm not entirely sure that, had I decided to protest my incarceration by staging a hunger strike,'Bubble and Squeak' would be enough to convince me to end my protest. But then I'm not Toad.


Blogger CG said...

I believe a really good bubble 'n' squeak should be made with left over roasted potatoes chopped up, with a good mixture of different green veg, although cabbage, green peas and broccoli are my favourites. Then place in a greased buttered glass dish with a load of salt and pepper and dots of butter on the top. Bake for an hour in a moderate oven, and it will taste better than the roast dinner from the night before.

12:56 pm  
Blogger flic said...

And this 'bubble and squeak' ended up being a different kind of food for you.

8:34 pm  
Blogger Keefieboy said...

Goat bacon! What paper told you that!

5:21 pm  

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