Day two… Thursday… my Friday.
It’s Thursday, but it’s my Friday because tomorrow is my one day off during the week. At the moment my typical work week will be Saturday through Wednesday for 11 hours and then either a half day on Thursday or a full Thursday and a 2 day weekend on alternating weeks. Confused? That’s ok.
I went to my first local grocery story today. It’s called Panda. It’s pretty much like any grocery store I may have used back home, kinda like a small grocery superstore. I didn’t spend too much time looking around. I was with some other guys and didn’t really want to keep them waiting, but here’s what I saw: small appliances, basic clothing selection, and groceries… but everything was in Arabic.
Good thing most of the colors were the same on the packaging. And some items even had English writing on one side. So I was able to figure out most things. I purchased a few familiar comfort foods. Yes, things are more expensive here, but as I get familiar with local brands and local deals I will find a more economical way to shop. By the way, I bought: honey, peanut butter, frosted flakes, eggs, pasta and spaghetti sauce, some plastic bowls, and plastic storage containers. Here’s a receipt with my handwritten numbers showing US dollar equivalent.
After grocery shopping, it was time to see a man about some fish. Old Jubail Central Market. It’s actually an open air market with fish merchants, butcher shops, and fruit and vegetable stands. We were headed to the fish market section. WOW, I have never smelled anything like it…
I have been to a fish market before, Pikes Market in Seattle, but never experienced anything like this. Fish everywhere. Fish like I have never seen before, other than in an aquarium. The scene was amazing and covered in flies. My guide was looking for shrimp and he had a guy he always went to. He ordered 1 kilo of huge shrimp and wanted them “clean”. They pulled them out of a cooler full of cold water and put them directly on the scale. Then we stood back and watched the show. The stand was a little busier than usual so we waited for quite a long time, I didn’t mind because we got to see more of the “show”. As we waited, countless guys came up to select their fish, argue about price, inspect the fish, and get them filleted or sliced or diced however they wanted. Once the shrimp were deveined, peeled and all clean, they were packed in ice and we were headed back to our compound.
I’m exhausted… Time for a nap….