Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Where Things Go?

This last week I had a lot of shopping to do, and specific things I was looking for. I pretty well know where to look for what I am seeking now, in spite of the fact that the grocery stores here have a different logic than the logic I am used to.

It’s not a right or wrong thing; it is a different cultures thing. I had the same issues when I would be looking for things in the German supermarkets, or the French supermarkets, or even shopping in Florida supermarkets as opposed to West Coast supermarkets.

I was looking for chopped pimentos, (AdventureMan has a yearning for a Southern staple called Pimento Cheese) which I sort of found and sort of didn’t. What I eventually found, in the condiment section, with the pickles, was canned roasted peppers, which I then chopped into tiny pieces.

Most of the time, I don’t have any trouble finding pimentos, but for some reason, the last month or two, I haven’t been able to find them until today. Usually, if I am going to find pimentos, I find them in the same section with tomato paste, hot pepper paste, and spicy Indian pickles. Condiments like mustards, mayonnaises, steak sauces, ketchups and baby foods are all up on top of the frozen foods. (See! I don’t KNOW why!) Today, I actually found them in the American pickle section. I don’t know why.

In the dairy department, there isn’t a yoghurt section, or a milk section, there is a KDD Dairy section and an Al Marai Dairy section, and (there are more) today none of the sections had sour cream, and in fact, they didn’t think they had ever had sour cream although I buy it there all the time.

At this point, I have bought so much “just in case I never see it again, ” that I can’t get a single thing more in my freezer.

There is a deli section, where they sell fresh soft cheese, a huge variety of olives, and big flats of eggs, 30 at a time. In the bread section, they also sell potato chips and taco chips. Soda crackers are sold mixed in with what we think of as cookies, sweet biscuits. Cat food is sold next to the baby food and bottled water. Go figure!

After a while, you just kind of know, you kind of get used to it.

The market we used to go to in France was about 1/3 wine, 1/3 fresh vegetables, cheeses, meats and terrines, and the remaining 1/3 was regular groceries!


(Not my photo. I found it at GoFrance)

February 2, 2008 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Community, Cooking, Cross Cultural, ExPat Life, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Shopping | 7 Comments

Gout and Soda

I used to drink Diet Coke, and every now and then, like once every six months, I might have a small Coke, a real coke, a classic coke, but for the most part, I haven’t missed drinking soda.

AdventureMan gave up sodas in November, and hasn’t touched one since. Not only are they full of empty calories, they also make you burp. They can give you heartburn. There are studies that show they may be related to the epidemic of obesity we are seeing, and they may tip vulnerable people into diabetes.

In today’s Kuwait Times, there is one more reason to give up sodas. Studies have shown a connection between drinking sodas and gout (Wikipedia:

Signs and symptoms
The classic picture is of excruciating, sudden, unexpected, burning pain, swelling, redness, warmness and stiffness in the joint. Low-grade fever may also be present. The patient usually suffers from two sources of pain. The crystals inside the joint cause intense pain whenever the affected area is moved. The inflammation of the tissues around the joint also causes the skin to be swollen, tender and sore if it is even slightly touched. For example, a blanket or even the lightest sheet draping over the affected area could cause extreme pain.
Gout usually attacks the big toe (approximately 75 percent of first attacks); however, it also can affect other joints such as the ankle, heel, instep, knee, wrist, elbow, fingers, and spine. In some cases, the condition may appear in the joints of small toes that have become immobile due to impact injury earlier in life, causing poor blood circulation that leads to gout.

I found a link to the full length Reuters article Sugary drinks raise risk of gout in men, which you can read by clicking on the blue text.

February 2, 2008 Posted by | Cold Drinks, Family Issues, Health Issues | 12 Comments


Thanks be to God, I can breathe again! The sandstorm is gone, after hanging around for two days. The sun came up SO bright this morning, so strong it wasn’t even hampered by the haze on the horizon, so bright I couldn’t photograph it!

Here is a photo from the other night, instead:


For non-Kuwaitis, this is the Liberation Tower, in downtown Kuwait.

February 2, 2008 Posted by | ExPat Life, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Lumix, Weather | | 4 Comments