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

Grocery store fatigue

Is anyone else feeling this? I have gone grocery shopping once a week, every week, for the entire time we've lived here (almost two years), save for the couple of weeks we spent in Turkey. And I'm tired of it. "Grocery shopping" encompasses so much more than just purchasing food. I plan the meals, making sure to incorporate ingredients into multiple meals so that I'm not left with half a kilo of zucchini with no purpose. I check on miscellaneous household items and baking goods to see if we need to buy more to replace the supply. I think of all the things I need to buy to assemble two children's lunchbox meals, every day, five days a week. Then I factor in snacks or special occasions or nights when we'll be out, or nights when I need a prepare-ahead meal, and all the little preference idiosyncrasies of each member of the family. All of that = a simple grocery list.

Then I go to the store, and brave the crowds, and push around a huge shopping cart and fill it with all the things on my list. Heaven forbid I forget anything and have to backtrack a few aisles. This is so anathema to me, in fact, that I hardly ever do it. If it's forgotten, and I've moved on more than an aisle, TOO BAD.

The way the store is laid out somehow always means that I get to produce last, when I have the least energy to sort out the good pieces from the moldy and bag it and take it to the scale and have the lady put the sticker on it. That was almost my breaking point today, when I remembered that Jeremy said he wanted some mangoes and I got to the mango section and YES, there was a mango SECTION:

If I loved mangoes, I would probably die from happiness at this sight. Unfortunately, I don't really like mangoes, so it was a chore to sort through all the kinds and figure out what to buy. I ended up with the Tutapuris from India, for 7.75dhs/kilo (about $1/lb).

Then there are all the categories of food that I have to deal with every week and the options are just tiresome. I am so done with cold cereal, for example. I GIVE UP. There is nothing good, and on the rare occasion when there is, I buy it one week to try it out and it is awesome and then I never see it on the shelf again.

Anyway, then I take everything up to the register, and unload it, and bag it (unless I'm lucky and get an aisle with a bagger), and pay, and then haul it all out to the car where I load it yet again. I put the cold stuff in the cooler that I keep in the trunk because you never know when you'll hit a 40-minute wall of traffic on Emirates Road.

Then I get home and unload it into the house, and then load it into the fridge and cupboards. By the time it's all done, I have handled each grocery item up to six times, just loading and unloading.

So that's "grocery shopping." And I'm weary of it. I'm not really trying to complain here. Rather, I want to point out two things.

First, when someone in your life says they need to go grocery shopping, give them a little salute of respect because it is a big job that has to be done week in and week out.

Second, starting sometime next month I will get a reprieve from this chore when I spend time in the US where someone else in the household will be responsible for grocery shopping (I will be sure to give them the above-mentioned salute of respect). However, this is a backhanded reprieve because I think I am going to enjoy grocery shopping in the US because of the novelty it will be. Cold cereal aisle, here I come!

Favorites that I never read/watched again

Euro 2012