Welcome to my blog. I write about fitting in, sticking out, and missing the motherland as a serial foreigner.

Yesterday, King Faisal Rd Spinneys, 4pm

I found my precious canned pumpkin yesterday at the King Faisal Road Spinneys at 4pm. I was walking down an aisle that I did not expect it to be in, turned my head, and saw it. It was here:
among the chutneys and sauerkraut and random Indian powdered energy drinks and spices and coconut-derived products. (Seriously, zoom in on that picture and I promise you will never see a stranger conglomeration of products on a grocery shelf anywhere.)

I grabbed the one can that was there and held onto it for dear life because guess who else was wandering around Spinneys? Half a dozen other frazzled foreigners looking for obscure Thanksgiving dinner ingredients. There was a lady looking for cranberry sauce, one looking for those crispy fried onions, and one unlucky woman who had the unenviable task of describing canned yams to a hapless Spinneys employee.

"I'm looking for canned yams."


"No, YAMS. It's an orange sweet potato."

"Canned oranges?"

"No, YAMS..."

I knew it was just a matter of time until one of them started asking for canned pumpkin.

I tracked down an employee who was not already monopolized by one of my fellow foreigners and asked him if they had any more canned pumpkin (to stock up, you know). He said they did, and walked me right over to the appropriate shelf (not where I had found my can, by the way). And the canned pumpkin spot was empty.

I can't believe I stumbled across the last can of pumpkin by chance on a mistaken shelf. It's a Thanksgiving miracle! Now, that dessert I'm going to make with it had better be dang good.

This way to Thanksgiving

A review of places we've lived