The first grocery shopping trips in foreign lands are always mini-adventures, as are many otherwise ordinary activities. I wanted to get milk so I could make my Nescafe properly and savor its delicate taste every morning and tea time as I have for the past year. Half milk, half water, one teaspoon of Nescafe, and a packet of Splenda. Curses upon anyone who comes between me and my Nescafe reverie.
We went to a dairy place (I forgot the name for it in Arabic), a little store where one would purchase all milk, yogurt, egg, and cheese needs, and after we had gotten our dozen eggs and apricot jam, we asked for a kilo of milk as well. I was expecting one of those boxes of ultra-pasteurized milk that I remembered from my time in Morocco, but even as I was picturing them in my head, I turned around and a gigantic silver vat had appeared in the center of the room out of nowhere.
I don’t know how I missed it beforehand or why I didn’t think about how odd it looked to me, but there it was, the veritable vat in the room, the china in the bull-closet. And then as I watched, a young man took a measuring cup and dunked his arm down into an opening in the vaguely pyramidical vat cover and out the cup came full of (fresh?) milk. He poured it into a bag, tied it up, tossed it into our shopping bag, and we were on our way.
Huh, I thought. That’s not what I was expecting.
Tonight we’re having a little get together with the other CASA fellows at Happy City hotel. I imagine it is staffed by muppets.
Can I send you some money to buy a cow?
You may, but only if it’s in Egyptian Pounds. I’m not sure what the going price is for a cow, but the extra income from selling milk could come in handy.
I’m glad you spelled yogurt correctly
how does the milk taste?
it was pretty good…but unfortunately it went bad almost instantly. I’m getting a box next time.