Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Shoreline Foods in Pensacola

“Oh, it’s on Main Street!” our friend told us, “Or it used to be Main Street, but now part of it is Bayfront, or some such, but we all know it is Main Street.”

My resourceful daughter-in-law is always full of the best hints. She told us about a place she thought I would love, called Shoreline Foods, a grocery store, but the old fashioned kind, and Greek.

I’ve been trying to find it ever since, but as it turns out, I was looking in the wrong direction. I finally asked my friend who knows EVERYTHING; Shoreline Foods IS on Main, at Main and “E” St. very near to Joe Patti’s, just as she said.

From the outside, you would never know how special it is, it just looks like another strip mall kind of store, but lots of parking, always a good thing 🙂

They do carry groceries, and an entire aisle with spices you can’t find most other places, or not all in one place:

And they have a deli! With wonderful sandwiches!

Tantalizing desserts!

Kanafi is a Middle Eastern pastry, so hard it is to find, and here it is in Pensacola!

And for me, the very best part is this:

Here I am going to rant for just a little minute. Shopping for olive oil in the USA is the total pits. Even the “best” olive oils, when you read their labels, say that the oil comes from “Spain, Argentina and Tunisia” or some such. Blends. It gives you no guarantee that one month the oil is the same as the next month, or the quality of the oils they are using.

I challenge you! Go to your grocery store and look for an olive oil that tells you it is from one country! Even the specialty shops; few of them have single point of origin olive oils! But at Shoreline Foods, they import an olive oil from Crete (Greece) which is green and fruity and tasty! You can buy it by the litre, or half litre, or the gallon. 🙂 Even better, you can bring your own container and fill it in the shop.

When I lived in Tunisia, I used to do that. Go to the olive oil man (first make sure he has had a delivery; like an oil truck pulls up and fills his barrel) and then grab your container and go stand in line with all the maids until he will fill your container. At Shoreline Foods, there was no line, but lovely lovely olive oil from Crete! I am in heaven!

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January 19, 2011 Posted by | Adventure, Biography, Cross Cultural, Florida, Food, Living Conditions, Pensacola, Shopping | 2 Comments

Room by Emma Donoghue

Hardly ever do I order a book in hardcover; they weigh too much, I do a lot of reading when flying, I prefer paperbacks so I can pass them on when I am finished (and no, I do not yet have a Kindle, because I like to pass my books along.) I made an exception for Room when I heard a review on National Public Radio. It sounded so different, and I wondered how it could be written without it being so horrible I couldn’t read it.

The story is told from the point of view of a five year old boy who lives in Room, an 11 x 11 foot space. He was born there, he has never been out of there.

As you read, you gain such huge admiration for the human spirit. Jake’s mother was abducted off the streets and kept in this room, which is totally soundproofed, surrounded by a chain metal cage, and can be entered and exited only by a door with a code entry lock. She raises Jake as best she can, keeping him hidden from her abductor. She teaches him reading and math, she tries to raise him eating nutritious foods, they have hygiene rules and daily physical education. Every now and then, she has a day when she is “gone”, when Jake wakes up and his mother won’t ‘switch on’ and just stays in her bed, sleeping all day. On those days, he feeds himself and plays quietly, knowing that his Mom will be back ‘on’ the next day – or so. He doesn’t understand his Mother’s despair, and she shelters him from it as best she can.

And then comes the time when she realizes that life is only going to get more and more difficult as Jake gets older. She makes a plan, a plan that relies on Jake, a desperate plan.

The book is fascinating. I have already passed it along; once I read it, I wanted to share it. In many ways, it is a cross-cultural book, because the culture Jake spends his first five years in is so insular, so enclosed. Emma Donoghue did a great job describing his world from his point of view, and dealing with the aftermath. I can’t tell you much more without spoiling the book for you in a major way. 🙂

There is a Reader’s Guide section at the back, and this book would be an excellent selection for a book club.

January 19, 2011 Posted by | Books, Crime, Cross Cultural, Family Issues, Health Issues, Hygiene, Living Conditions, Mating Behavior, Women's Issues | 8 Comments

Full Moon over Edmonds

Jet-lagging in a very small way – when I fly to Edmonds, it is a half day trip, not a day-and-a-half day trip, but I am still mildly jet lagged the first couple days. Sometimes it can be a good thing. When I was up at an inhuman hour this morning making coffee, I was able to watch the full moon over the Puget Sound off Edmonds Beach. Silvery, and lovely:

January 19, 2011 Posted by | Random Musings, Seattle, Travel | 3 Comments