Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Achin' for Bacon

Two things happened today that have made it a memorable day. A truly remarkable one, really.

First... it RAINED. Not hard, and not for long, but it was important as I wasn't in Qatar the two other days it rained this year. I think a sprinkle of rain once in a while is good for the soul. As soon as the clouds started rolling in, I knew it was going to be a good day. Bye bye sunshine (even for a very brief period), and hello rain shower!

But, today wasn't just extra special because it rained.
No, there is another reason why this one will go down in the history books.
Seriously - it will.
Today, Qatar sells P O R K.
Never before has this happened. Ever.
I was a bit slow to learn about the big news. But as they say, news travels pretty fast, so I am only a day late hearing about it...
My day began like any other. E & I get up, get ready, make a little breaky, and I sneak a peak on facebook while she counts her Cheerios out loud, slipping a few to the dog.
My friend Desert Mama's status update pops up on my newsfeed. It says something about bacon...
My heart flutters. This can't be. I immediately reach for my phone and text her. Does she have this on good authority? I need the details!
Turns out the QDC (Qatar Distribution Center, aka, the one-and-only-liquor-store-in-the-entire-country) began selling pork yesterday.
Really? Is this news accurate? A quick internet check and I see there has been some babble about it on local sites. No need to tell me twice.

Hurry up with those Cheerios, kiddo, we have some pork to buy!

It must be said that venturing to QDC is no small feat. It is clear on the other side of town, with heinous traffic and mind-blowing construction detours. I often want to poke my eyes out after a trip to that part of town. But it must be done. The Chisholm girls were on a mission. And yes, you are reading correctly - I didn't even hesitate about dragging my little girl through a liquor store at 10am in the morning (opening time) in search of pork. Don't judge.
We get there, find a space in the parking lot (which is strangely busy for a Tuesday morning), flash my official Liquor Permit (generously granted to me by the State of Qatar with permission from my dear husband) and roll in with my stroller. 
My eyes glance over the Merlots and Cabernets while I do a quick scan of the room in search of my true target. Half expecting to find a single freezer with a homemade "Pork" sign taped to its front, I don't immediately notice the entire room now devoted to the formerly forbidden food. The once Cold Beer room is now the Pork Products room. Name etched in glass and everything. Like it's here to stay. For real.
I get a thrill in my stomach like I am about to commit a crime and get away with it. 
I enter the room.
It's jammered.
Four long freezer bins line each wall, all filled with pork. 
Doha's first pork products
QDC employees are dumping boxes of frozen bacon into the freezers and shoppers are scooping them up like mad. I stare, disbelieving, into a bin of frozen pork sausages, a bit giddy.
The feeling in the room is contagious - festive even.  Everyone is smiling. Who knows how many months or years these other expats in this cold little room have gone without their favorite BLT, Easter Ham or BBQ'd chops.

What to buy? I have a little red basket in my arms (that feels remarkably insufficient) and I start loading. I get a few of every kind they have.
 I get... smoked bacon, unsmoked bacon, back bacon, streaky bacon (what the hell is streaky bacon?) and I throw in a few bags of pork sausages for good measure. In total, I roll out with eight packages of bacon and four bags of sausages. Ready for a pork-fest.
Maybe I went a bit overboard?
On my way out, a QDC employee tells me merrily that there is a new shipment coming with ham and Italian salami next week. I happily carry the bag to the car, telling Ella she will be tasting real bacon with her eggs this weekend. She smiles like she is actually looking forward to it.
No more achin' for bacon. Thanks QDC.
Shopping Success