Because it’s not easy for women to eat out easily, all of us female teachers tend to do a lot of cooking at home.
For my roommate and I, when we want produce, we just pop out to our local produce shop. That is, you first check prayer times. We get off work at 3:15, and the shops are open then until about 5 pm. They close for about 30 minutes, open then close again at around 6:30 for another 30 minutes. On weekends, don’t go at 11:30 or 2:45, either.
Then you throw on your abaya and a headscarf and walk the block and a half to the veggie shop. There’s plenty to choose from, but not always same selection. They usually have romaine lettuce heads, roma tomatoes, white onions, carrots, butternut squash, cauliflower, potatoes, gala apples, bananas and more. The prices are great, and it’s hard to spend more that about 20SAR ($7US). And our shop guys try to teach us a little Arabic, so it’s a great outing all in all.
I realize that even having to put an abaya on to go out, produce shopping here is still more convenient than most places I’ve lived in the US.
We also use the local supermarkets. They’re convenience-store-size, but carry lentils, eggs, milk, yogurt, labneh (lovely between yogurt & cream cheese), pita, digestive cookies …most of our essentials at pretty good prices.
But around every corner is a surprise. Just as I was getting sentimental about shopping locally, I got a jolt. I walked into one neighborhood shop, and there, just inside the door is a huge display, more like an altar, of Doritos and Lays potato chips. Shop local?