Welcome to Empirical Purple

A blog by Simon Brady to cover a surprisingly wide range of geekiness, in a combination that no-one else does quite the same way. Probably. Either that, or it'll just be Simon talking about the likes of Football (usually the Soccer variety), PC & Tabletop Gaming, WWE, Movies, Music and occasionally even my actual job of Graphic Design, depending on what I'm up to in the world.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Don't Go Bacon My Heart

The Al Naeem Mall in Ras Al Khaimah is a slightly strange place. It is a ghost mall, with practically no shops, stores or anything other than 'Coming Soon' boardings where the shops should be. Areas are blocked off and the escalators are permanently switched off because if the ground floor barely has anything in it, then the first and second floors are dimly lit corridors devoid of anything at all.

What it does have, besides two banks at the entrance, is a Spinneys. Spinneys is a supermarket that imports British goods for consumers in the Middle East, and stocks Waitrose products (yes, I am apparently going up in the world by now shopping at Waitrose).

It's a bright, clean, well laid out store in the Western style, where you get hit with fruit and veg and Deli counter as you enter. All the other supermarkets - Carrefour, Lulu, etc. - have random things when you enter like electronics, clothes and toys, but Spinneys has everything where you'd expect it.

Except for pork.

Pork is forbidden for Muslims (and Jews, but there's not exactly a lot of call for Kosher products here) so you can't find anything pig-related in any of the shops, no matter how hard you try. Except for Spinneys.

The 'For Non Muslims' section is at the back of the store by electronics and kitchenware, well away from anywhere you can accidentally buy the wrong sort of meat. The frosted glass door quite tastefully has 'Pork' written on it, and a button on the side of the door slides it away, revealing a cornucopia of all things pig derived.

Sausages, pork pies, pork scratchings, kiełbasa, ham, spam, crackling, spare ribs, pâté and most of all bacon. Glorious bacon.

Two packs of Waitrose Essential smoked bacon bacon landed in my basket without even thinking about it. At 25 Dirhams each that makes about £8.40, but it was well worth it. They've been grilling as I've been writing this post, and now a tasty bacon buttie with Lurpak butter, Heinz tomato sauce and a glass of Robinson's squash is mine to enjoy for the first time in three months. My mouth has been watering since before I even got in the lift up to our apartment, and it tastes so, so good.

If it wasn't blazing sunshine and 25°C outside, I could almost be back in Britain right now.

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