Gettin’ Groceries

Gettin’ Groceries

Sometimes it helps to just have a good laugh at a situation to keep from crying about it. So that is just what I’m going to do.

I know that going to Publix, Walmart, Costco or wherever you buy groceries is not usually an experience you look forward to with great anticipation. I understand that…I really, really do. But, I hope you will agree with me when I say, it might be a drag, but it isn’t torture. It’s just a trip to the store and as much as one may dread it, it’s just something that needs to get done.

I don’t want to be that girl who “one ups” the next person, but since we’ve moved overseas going to the grocery store ranks pretty high above “taking all five boys to get immunizations by myself” and “scrubbing toilets with bare hands” on the list of things I dread most. It’s that bad. Really.

Let me explain.

You see, going to the grocery store in our city is an act of strength, perseverance, mental fortitude and determination.

In our city…life happens in malls. You can workout- in the mall. You can go to a pharmacy- in the mall. You can pay your internet/cell phone bill- in the mall.  You can smoke the hookah pipe- in the mall. You can get your car washed- at the mall.

And yes, you guessed it, you can buy your groceries… In. The. Mall.

Sounds simple enough, right?

Let’s walk through a simple trip to the grocery store.

Step One: Flag a taxi in order to get to the mall. Those little yellow sedans are not as easy to catch as you think. Sometimes it seems as if they are waiting on you outside your front door. Most of the time it seems they are playing tag with you and you’re “it”. IMG_5909Step Two: Walk all through the mall to get to the grocery store. After buying groceries (not even going to mention the challenge of the Arabic language or culture while on this little grocery adventure) and getting them in the cart, you get to push the cart ALL THE WAY BACK THROUGH THE DANG MALL to get to the taxi line. This can be a humbling experience to say the least. Think with me about rolling that full grocery cart through the Galleria. Now, that’s what we are dealing with here people. And, if you happen to be shopping for a large family, it takes two carts. Boom. #losing

And if you’re really a glutton for punishment if you don’t have anyone to watch your kids so your hubby can help you, your kiddos get to tag along for the fun.IMG_6489

Step Three: After flagging a taxi to get you back home you need to load the groceries into the trunk of the cab…by yourself (about 1% of the cab drivers are actually going to help you load your groceries in the trunk). See why you need the hubby to come with you?

If it’s an extra special day your cart will roll off  the sidewalk while you’re trying to load “said” groceries in the trunk. And if you’re fortunate enough to get a “super patient” cab driver he’ll be yelling “yella-yella” at you from the drivers seat window as he watches you hurl your groceries into the trunk. “Yella” essentially means, “HURRY!”

At this point you will try to refrain from swearing. It may or may not work. I plead the fifth.


I should also mention that if it’s a slow taxi day, you may sit on the sidewalk for 10-30 minutes while waiting on a cab. Thankfully, we don’t see rain much in these parts. IMG_5027

Step Four: You finally make it home with your groceries! But wait, now the fun begins.

  1. You have to get the groceries from the trunk.
  2. Sit the groceries on the sidewalk (again, by yourself of course).
  3.  Pay the cab driver, who is still sitting in the drivers seat.
  4. Wrangle your rowdy kids.
  5. Try not to cuss, again.

IMG_5910 Step Five: After paying the cab driver you need to pick up the groceries for the 52nd time once again. Proceed to carry them into the apartment building and load them on the elevator. You think the party is over at this point? Oh no, it’s not.

The elevator doors will shut multiple times as you attempt to walk back and forth to load the groceries, and if you’re really lucky, someone will need to use the elevator (with your groceries on it) so you’ll have to wait on them to get where they need to go before you can start loading again. This may take multiple trips back and forth depending on how much you bought and how busy the elevator is that day, but can we ALL just pause for a minute and shout “Hallelujiah” for the blessed elevator? Because if the elevator is out of order on that particular day you have another option. Steps. Lots of steps.

Step Six: Carry the groceries from the elevator inside your apartment and fall out on the couch begin the painstaking process of putting them all away.

Now you are mentally, physically and emotionally whipped right about the time your family will ask, “What’s for dinner?”

To which you will reply, “Let’s order takeout.”

2 thoughts on “Gettin’ Groceries

  1. I so feel your pain! I ranted about this very thing several years ago here: I remember being 8 months pregnant in Beirut getting groceries- we had a car at that point but no parking on our street so I would have to walk all the way around the block with groceries OR drop them at the first drop off point just after getting out of the car (second drop off- moving them inside ready to load onto elevator (while door opened and shut on you constantly; third drop off outside front door and fourth finally into the kitchen!). On one occasion a stray cat got at one of the chickens I bought before I got it inside. Let’s just say I may or may not have thrown said chicken at my sweet husband’s head when he decided to laugh at the situation… I’ll plead the fifth too on what else I might have said…. 😉

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