Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

My Addiction

Even though I know it is hopeless, I always look. It’s never there, or only once in the entire time I have lived here, and that was at the BIG Sultan Store in Salmiyya. But without any real hope, I looked and there it was!

When I was a kid growing up in Germany, there was something called PX rules. PX means Post Exchange, it is the place where American military people, or state department, or Canadians or British peoples would shop for things that the local German economy didn’t carry. The first rule is “if you see it, buy it.” The second rule is “if you see it and like it, buy several, as you may never see it again.”

So I bought all four bottles:

Even knowing that this behavior is known as “hoarding” and that hoarding leads to shortages and that is probably why I see it so rarely, and knowing I should leave a bottle or two for someone else . . . knowing all that, I still bought all four bottles. I couldn’t help it. I’ve been conditioned. The rules are too strong; I can’t resist.

When I first go back to the US, and see it plentifully on the grocery store shelves, it is still hard to just buy one . . . except that there, you can even buy a litre size, and that usually lasts me a week or so.

Vanilla Caramel . . . ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh . . .

April 25, 2007 - Posted by | Cross Cultural, ExPat Life, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Lumix, Photos, Shopping, Social Issues


  1. I do that sometimes at Sultan Center too. Like with sugar free chocolate for example. I don’t blame you at all.

    But if you want to have a coffee mate with a sort of Arabic flavor you should try Rainbow with Cardamom. You can find it in the co-ops and probably in Sultan Center as well. I used to take that back to the US with me sometimes because I love it so much. It’s really tasty especially since it’s got a touch of cardamom in it 🙂

    Comment by 1001 Kuwaiti Nights | April 25, 2007 | Reply

  2. shopping in kuwait is pretty much the same, you can never be sure that youre gonna see that something special on your next visit since everythings imported here.

    we hoard everything, and half the time joke about it being ‘wartime’ shopping again 😛

    Comment by skunk | April 25, 2007 | Reply

  3. Coffee mate! it has no nutritional value what so ever, i recommend you go with 1001’s recomenndation and get rainbow cons. milk ..
    BTW if you cant find it, then it because i have really big stash at home and at work 🙂

    Comment by Abdulaziz | April 25, 2007 | Reply

  4. HeeHeeHeeeeeeeee! Oh, you ARE my friends! You ALL hoard? Unbelievable.

    1001 – Thanks for the recommendation, I will look for the Rainbow mild with cardamon flavoring. Does it say that in English, or do I need to be able to read it in Arabic? (If so, you’ll have to tell me the words so I will know what to look for)

    SKUNK – dying laughing – yeh, wartime shopping. PX rules. it’s that breathless, desperate, deprived bolt of lightning when you see something you can’t resist.

    Abdulaziz – Yes! Yes! You are right! NO redeeming value whatsoever, except that it tastes absolutely delicious. And YOU are hoarding Rainbow milk? Total hoot!

    Comment by intlxpatr | April 25, 2007 | Reply

  5. I think it says both Rainbow and Cardamom in English. Also it’s in a can and not the same sort of packaging as the coffee mate. In case the word in Arabic is pronounced “hail” and is spelled like this: هيل

    Comment by 1001Nights | April 25, 2007 | Reply

  6. Thank you, Zin! 🙂 I’ll give it a try.

    Comment by intlxpatr | April 25, 2007 | Reply

  7. Compulsive hoarding, PX rules – still happens to me, even after being stateside for so long. You’re the one who hooked me on the French Vanilla flavor – and sometimes they are out! If there are only 2 bottles…I take them both. But if there are 3…I leave one – for good karma! (I’ve even gotten the hubby to buy into this concept, amazingly enough – LOL!) I make a thermos of coffee with the French Vanilla already added to bring to my desk every morning – and people are always saying how wonderful and “cozy” it smells in my office. Occasionally, I even give Cinnamon Caramel a whirl, but always come back to French Vanilla. Ahhhhhh….

    Comment by SparklePlenty | April 25, 2007 | Reply

  8. Yeh, Sparkle, French Vanilla used to do it for me until I met Vanilla Caramel . . . . 🙂

    Comment by intlxpatr | April 25, 2007 | Reply

  9. hahaha ya khalti what a familiar sight :-)!

    I hoard Big Red, shamelessly.

    As for hoarding, I don’t know – my hope is that it encourages retailers to restock more quickly :-).

    Comment by adiamondinsunlight | April 25, 2007 | Reply

  10. hey guess what, have you heard of the LULU hypermarket?

    i just finished my weekly shop there and i noticed they had your coffeemate thingy there. as well as about 4 other flavours, the only one i remember is irish coffee which i found strange considering what real irish coffee is 😛

    they had quite a few there, and since LULU is based in dubai chances are better that they will stock it more regularly.

    its near the friday market area, you know near the plant nursery, if you need directions drop me an email.

    Comment by skunk | May 7, 2007 | Reply

  11. I know where the LuLu is! I used to try to go there, but it wasn’t open yet! I lived near the one in Doha (Qatar) and shopped there once a week or so. They had a great take-out section, and some of the freshest fish in town. Of course in Kuwait, we have the fish markets where you watch it come in off the boat; it doesn’t get any better than that.

    Did you find it well stocked? How were the prices?

    Comment by intlxpatr | May 7, 2007 | Reply

  12. yeah the takeout section is much better than sultan!

    i just had the ouzi for lunch 😛
    oh and their butter chicken curry is pretty good. better than mughal mahals i think.

    its pretty well stocked actually and the prices arent too bad, maybe a bit cheaper than sultan. but not by much. but the parking being abundant and the aisles being huge make it my supermarket of choice now.

    i gotta try their grilled chicken next time 😛

    Comment by skunk | May 7, 2007 | Reply

  13. I thought ouzi was a machine gun!

    Comment by intlxpatr | May 7, 2007 | Reply

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