Tuesday, May 28, 2013
GUEST POST – KELLY WOLF
Kelly wrote this article for one of the local newspapers. I happen to know that very few citizens of the expatriate world ever read that periodical so I offered to post it on my blog so everyone in the world could learn from her experiences.
Kelly comes from Wisconsin and has been living in Panama for nearly four years. She first came to Panama as an exchange student, fell in love with the country and just couldn't stay away. Lately she has been living her dream, enjoying life in David and teaching English classes at an English Club she operates.
Supermarket Scavenger Hunt
What food item do you miss most from your home country? All of us foreigners living far away from our native lands have those occasional cravings for good ol’ comfort food every now and again; even if we have become accustomed to the local cuisine. The reality is ‘there’s no place like home’ and sometimes it is nice to make a home cooked meal to remind us of our native country. Yet, often we are faced with difficulties in finding those coveted foreign ingredients to make that favorite recipe.
The supermarkets in David do provide a wide array of foreign foods, but let’s face it, the selection is quite limited. Or worse still, we finally find that specialty food item we have been craving, but when we return to purchase it again, it is missing without a trace. Not even an empty space on the shelf, like it was never even there.
If you are like me, you tend to see those rare items when you are least expecting it and are in such a hurry that you don’t purchase it. Instead you opt to make a mental note for the next time you need it so you will remember which supermarket you found it in; only to return and find that it is no longer there and no one has any idea of what you are looking for. It is a frustrating situation to find yourself in. Do you:
A. Yell at the supermarket manager for neglecting to reorder the item?
B. Question why you are living in a foreign country? or
C. Invent a fun supermarket scavenger hunt?
I have decided to go with option C (only after exhausting the first two options without receiving adequate results). Why not turn a sometimes frustrating situation into a fun game that you can play every time you go shopping? How to play: think of several food items you haven’t been able to find and look for them on your next trip to the grocery store. (Keep in mind you may need to make several trip to various stores, but don’t give up.) How to win: Find the item and reap the benefits of finding your coveted foreign food. Don’t forget to stock up because you don’t know if it will be there the next time you return.
It is a great game that everyone can play and helps take away from the frustration of not finding important food items. Try it out next time and maybe you will get lucky. Oh and if you happen to see some horseradish spread, please let me know so I can check it off my list.