Tuesday, October 19, 2010

On the mistakes you make…

…when you are not paying attention in a new country.

We had just got back from our weekly, big grocery shopping at TSC when I realized we had no milk, and that I had completely forgotten to buy milk at TSC. So I took a boy with me, I forgot which one, and ran over to Idriss. Just as we got there, they closed and locked the last gate. Now what? We are a family that cannot go without milk for more than a few hours. I asked the guys that were closing up, and they told me there was a night shop just a block away. There, I didn’t see any milk however. I interrupted the cashier who was involved in a very engaging and long phone conversation, to ask for milk – a word I know very well in Arabic - and he, annoyed, got four little bottle out for me. Not quite what I was looking for, but it would have to do for now. All the while, the boy I had brought is continuously asking for this or that treat, and the baby that I was carrying and hadn’t even realized I was carrying until he started trying to get into anything within reach at the tiny night shop, started whining. So I grabbed the bottles and headed home.

While putting the bottles in the fridge, I opened one and had a swig. Eeeeuuuuhh! “That’s not milk!” I announced. Goodness. How could I not have noticed?

Turns out I had got four bottles of that disgusting yogurt drink the Lebanese drink continuously throughout the day. It tastes sort of like Activia only it’s salty (Why?!). Yuck!


  1. If it is like in Egypt, and Lebanese Arabic should be pretty close to it, the word "milk" (laban) itself dose not say whether you mean fresh or sour milk ("fil" in Swedish). Fresh milk would be "laban hal'eeb" and the other one is "laba ray'eeb". In daily conversation here (in Egypt) simply "haleeb" or "rayeeb".

    If it could be similar in Lebanon :).

  2. in Cairo we actually like to drink "Rayeb", usually with a little mango tang. I don't think it's salty here? Maybe you can also make it into some shake, with banana's or other fruit? I always keep some powdered milk in the house for emergency's...
    It's been nice to read about your new life there. Keep it coming... Love, Anneloes

  3. Laban! Never could drink it straight, but it made a great substitute for buttermilk in any recipe (pancakes, biscuits) Enjoy!

  4. Like the previous posters pointed out, I'm afraid you used the egyptian word for milk and not the lebanese one. The lebanese word is haleeb, while the egyptian one is laban. Laban in lebanon is yogurt or the watered down yogurt (what you got).