Wednesday, September 09, 2009

On living in a foreign country


Living abroad gives you a really great perspective. When we first moved to Dubai, at times it felt just like back home but at others it felt so foreign. Like when you stay at a hotel in transit and turn on the TV and can't find anything familiar, and all the channels are foreign ones. Well, not exactly, but at times it feels exactly like that, especially when the local ads come in between the English programs.

The thing is that there is no one type of language or program here, as there are Egyptian, Jordanian, Syrian, Lebanese, Sudanese, Turkish and Saudi shows on the TV here. The Turkish soaps are apparently very popular with Emiratis and Saudi women and many go to Turkey especially to see the sights where the soap operas were filmed.

Another interesting aspect of living here is buying food from all over the world. It's especially noticeable when buying fruit and vegetables, as they are sorted and priced based on their country of origin. So my receipt looks something like this:

Peaches Turkey
Kiwi Italy
Plum Spain
Garlic China
Ginger China
Lamb Australia
Onion India
Asst vegetables India
Carrots Australia
Chickoo India
Lychee Thailand
Red Delicious Apple New Zealand
Granny Smith Apple USA
Oranges Lebanon

Yes, the country is actually part of the name here as they are priced differently. Take tomatoes for instance, there is a huge difference in prices between locally grown tomatoes to vine ripened tomatoes to plum to cherry and so on, most of which come from several different countries. Some supermarkets even have notices on which fruits and veggies have been flown in by air! Sometimes items have a city name such as "Banana Mysore" instead of a country notation. This sign was for the delightful mini bananas of South India.


charu said...

The true fun of being in a new place is in noticing and enjoying these small details... and I take it the 'Asst' in vegetables India does not refer to 'Assistant' :)

bindu said...

That's interesting. It's only logical that things flown in from far away should cost more. Often times here in the US it's not like that. That's what causes the environmental problems.

hitch writer said...

the picture is etheral !!!!

ITs most wonderful !!!!

lovely names they have... quite interesting.. !!

i love those small banana's btw !!

Rose said...

It's such an everyday thing when you live here...but it was most amusing to read your post...never really realised how globally friendly we are...even in the supermarket!

Lakshmi -Celebrations said...

So nice to hear all these.i love things like this.So cosmopolitan and good exposure to alot of things.its nice shalini.I loved the way u write and the picture gives a whole world look.

shilpa said...

never thought of it like this!

this little peak into your life struck a chord.

Shalini said...

charu, Yes, so true. And being able to blog about them is even better! I love coming across something to blog about from my daily life.

Lol, the Asst is for "assorted" vegetables such as Indian veggies like bhindi, baingan, parval, loki, green chillies, arbi and so on. It would be nice to have an assistant come home and cook it for you though :-)

bindu, thanks....and just last night I bought watermelon from Eqypt! I really make an effort to buy local stuff....there is a wholesale market but it's just too chaotic. I wish there were farmer's markets though.

hw, thanks...I took this shot from the car while we were driving.

Rose, Yes, it is so banal here, but one day when I was watching the prices flash by on the monitor as the checker scanned the stuff, I was struck by how many countries appeared, so thought...hmmmm, must blog about this!

Lakshmi, thanks so much! I do like finding the simple things to write about. It's all about observing and sharing a bit of my life with all of you!

shilpa, thank you so much! So glad you could identify!

~mE said...

Ive seen that Mysore banana in london as well..:) Nice post shalini :)

magiceye said...

that was an interesting insight

Shalini said...

Thanks S and magiceye!

Arya said...

Beautiful picture Shalini!