Monthly Archives: March 2016

The Saudi Supermarket


The other day, I found myself stuck in the supermarket during prayer time. The store closes, but if you’re already inside, they let you stay. It’s actually not a bad situation because you can take your time browsing for your groceries. Once they open again (20-30 min later), you can just go to the cashier and leave. If you can time it right, it’s better than trying to get it all done in between the prayer times.

Anyway, as I was reaching for the canned tuna, I was suddenly struck by the Warhol-esque nature of my surroundings.

2016-02-14 15.52.45

I took advantage of the fact that there were not many shoppers around to try to capture the effect. I was in a Danube supermarket, which is one of a few chains of supermarkets here. Other major ones are Safeway, Carrefour, and my favourite – Hyper Panda (yes, that’s what it’s really called). Danube’s shelves are very tall and and it seems that they literally put everything out, using up all their shelf space from top to bottom. But while there are certainly huge quantities, there doesn’t seem to be much in the way of variety, giving these sort of visual effects:

A wall of yellow:2016-02-14 15.53.08

Packs of tomato paste (a staple ingredient for Saudi cooks):2016-02-14 15.52.26

Perfectly aligned bug spray (did they use a ruler?):2016-02-14 15.42.58

I’ve just been using regular Tide for washing my abaya. Have I been missing out all this time?2016-02-14 15.36.59

Yum, processed cheese. My favourite is La Vache qui rit, which is also marketed here as individually-wrapped squares of cheese called Kiri  – get it?  🙂20150301_172140

And finally, for our refreshments:2016-02-14 15.38.23Don’t get too excited (alcohol content = 0%).

Anyway, what self-respecting beer comes in apple, peach, or strawberry flavour?