The Revelation

The other night I received a revelation about myself from a complete stranger. I’d never met him in my life, but what he told me what so profound, that it had be thinking as I walked home from the metro station.

The stranger – a middle-aged Egyptian guy who worked in a corner shop – informed me that… wait for it.. he informed me that I’m on a diet!

Yes, you read that right. Apparently, The Londoner, is on a diet! I wasn’t even aware of it before he told me, and all this time I’ve been scolding myself for indulging in too many sweet things!

“What led ‘Mr Unknown’ to come to this conclusion?” I hear you ask. Well, nothing except for me buying pure fruit juice! Yup… nothing else.

I’ve been slacking in my fruit intake recently, and in an attempt to make myself feel better, I went on a hunt after work for a kiosk or small shop that sells pure fruit juice. If you know anything about Egypt you know that it was a mission of some sort; every shop I entered had ‘fruit nectar’ – meaning 50% fruit, 30% sugar and 20% water plus some junk. Not the ideal way of increasing the intake of fruit. I call them ‘diabetes in a carton’.

I finally found a shop that had 200ml cartons of pure juice, and so I proceeded to grab as many as I could carry. Then I heard it.

“Mish sokkar!” (No sugar)

I thought I misheard and ignored Mr Unknown – the guy who worked in the shop. But I heard it again.

“Mish sokkar!”

I turned, wondering why the guy was telling me that the juice had no sugar in it. That’s exactly why I was buying them.

“Iywa, kuwayis” was my reply.

And then he went into a theatrical display of pointing at the juice cartons while exclaiming, “Diet! Diet!”

Of course, at this point one of my eyebrows shot up in a manner that said, “What on earth are you talking about, man! I’m not on a diet.” I shook my head as he continued to switch between his declaration that I’m on a diet, and that the juice had no sugar. I tried to reassure him that I knew exactly what I was buying and that it was okay – there was no need to develop high blood pressure!

After all that commotion his face was flushed with a bright pink hue, his eyebrows gathered into a frown and he nodded very, very slowly, although I knew that he simply could not understand why I would want to buy juice that had no sugar added.

My question to him is, why do you sell the stuff if people don’t want to buy it? I guess it’s for people like me – we’re all on a diet.

– The Londoner


Posted on December 13, 2010, in Snippet of Moi and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Ha! I read your tweet about this a couple days ago! Some vendors like making conversation to entertain themselves πŸ™‚

  2. You must have noticed the sugar addiction in Egypt by now. Why people ask “kam sukar?” is beyond me, when really the question should be “Ayza shay ma sukar bitahtik?” (or something like that – my Arabic is a little caveman – I sound like Arnold Schwarzenegger) . My cousins here take tea with their 4 to 5 spoons of sugar. My cleaner takes some coffee with her half a cup of sugar. And as for the fruit juice, I completely agree, it’s like you’re mad if you order without sugar….you get that “really?…yuk…no sugar?…you sure?” face. LOL gotta love it.

  3. LOL! Great blog πŸ™‚

  4. Really funny, you made my day; I believe people here in Cairo like to be friendly, especially when they notice that you are a foreigner

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