Friday, May 20, 2011

OK, so I went a little crazy…

...and bought 16 packs of bacon at the grocery yesterday. 

For those of you who live in the western world, this might not seem so remarkable, but you have to understand: we’re in the Middle East, and bacon is difficult to get and/or very expensive. TSC, a larger grocery store some blocks from our house, carries – among everything else - alcoholic beverages and some pork products (although no fresh pork – you have to go to City Stars for that). The grocery store a few meters from our house – Idriss – does not have anything like that. So whenever we want beer, wine, gin, ham, hot dogs or bacon, we trudge up the hill with our backpacks and shop at TSC. The alcohol is not very expensive, and there’s usually a special on some kind of ham so that it doesn’t add up to much, but the hot dogs and the bacon are imported (almost $1/slice or hot dog), and hence not something we can buy very often. I can probably count the number of packs of bacon that I have bought since we moved here on one hand.

But we like bacon. So imagine my delight yesterday when I entered TSC and they had a heap of bacon packs at 90% off, because they were about to expire. I said I’d take five. Then I thought, “1000 Lebanese pounds per pack? That’s like $0.75! Goodness. I guess I *could* buy few more.” So I asked for another bunch and ended up with 16 packs.

When I came home, after the initial family joy had settled, I was scolded for not having bought ALL of the bacon packs (there were about as many left as I had got), and today other parts of our family want to go and see if we can get the rest.



  1. Ok, so as soon as I read that first sentence I gasped out loud - that is awesome! We have been in and out of the Middle East for a time and I know what a precious commodity that is. That doesn't seem crazy at all to me :)

    I found your blog the other day (how? I don't remember) and I hope you don't mind having a new reader. Beirut is somewhere my husband and I hope to be posted to someday and I have really appreciated reading about your experiences there.

    Take Care,

    (we are currently in Morocco)

  2. That is soooo funny. We are always getting strange looks for buying too much of whatever because we can't get it reliably. In fact, we're in Italy just for this week, and today we bought twelve bags of whole wheat flour, since we have a really hard time finding it in Tunisia.

    The scarcity just makes it seem more wonderful when you find it!

  3. Brooke, I don't mind a new reader at all - welcome!

    Sarah, you're right! The scarcity makes you appreciate AND miss things more.