Grocery shopping is always an adventure overseas. Fortunately, we've been here long enough, and the stores are enough like American stores that it's not TOO difficult. (usually). I remembered (unfortunately a little too late) that grocery shopping on Saturday is not at all a good idea even in this culture, but I pressed on because my list was long and our cabinets were empty. The whole shop around the edges of the store concept (you know, so that you get mostly fresh things and avoid all the preservatives and pre-packaged things) is actually very do-able here, but because of the way the system is set up it just takes that much longer. You have to wait your turn at the red meat counter, at the chicken counter, at the deli meat counter, at the cheese counter, AND at the vegetable scales where they weigh all your fruits and veggies BEFORE you proceede to the check out counter. Keep in mind that when I say "wait your turn" in Arab culture that doesn't exactly mean the same thing as in American culture. You basically join the throng of people fighting for a place at the counter and hope that you get noticed in a somewhat reasonable time frame. So, add the masses of people who are at the store on Saturday morning and it doesn't exactly make for a stress free experience. Anyway, on this particular day, I had already gotten all of our produce, meats and cheeses and I was finishing up my shopping. One of the last things on my list was these little bleach tablets that we use to wash all fruits and veggies before eating them. I couldn't find them ANYWHERE. I looked in the produce section (where they used to be), then I headed over to the cleaners section and looked with the bleach and dish detergent- not there either. I finally tracked someone down to help me (somewhat of a miracle in itself) and asked him where the precept tablets were. He looked at me as if I were a complete doofus for not knowing, shrugged his shoulders and says, "they're with the band-aids.". Well, duh! Of course, they would keep the veggie bleach tablets with the bandaids- how could I have been so dense? Anyway, I got them, finished up shopping and headed home ready to share my latest cultural frustration while shopping with Jason. I was laughing and telling him about how absolutely absurd it was to me that they would put these crazy things with the band-aids and what does he say? He looks at me and says, "well they're the same brand. It makes sense to me.". I thought, good grief- whose side are you on?!?! Agree with me as I rant about this!! I told him it had to have been a male who set up that store because that was male logic, NOT female logic! (the tablets are Johnson and Johnson by the way but I still say it makes no sense to put them with the band-aids!)
I am blessed beyond measure with a wonderful husband, Jason, and four beautiful daughters, Abbey, Maddie, Naomi and Anabelle. We are living our dream of living and working cross-culturally in the Middle East. Life is an adventure and never dull. As a child of the Eternal King of Kings, held together in the palm of His loving hand, I am a work in progress, thankful to share my journey with anyone who wants to listen.