Hello, nice to meet you
My name is Gbemisola, but most people call me Gbemi (If you can’t pronounce “Gb” Be-mee works just as well). I’m from the Yoruba tribe of Nigeria, and my name means “Carry me into wealth”, I do have several other names and no, none of them are easier to pronounce. When I was 10, I was obsessed with English names and went around convincing my friends to call me Giselle (Fun fact all my names start with the letter G) but it never picked up. You know what? I’m glad it didn’t, regardless of how I felt back then, I love my name. I love how Yoruba and Nigerian it is. When I introduce myself to Non-Nigerians we spend the next 3-5 minutes discussing my name, I’ll never get tired of it. Some of the best conversations I have had begun by discussing my name, not many people have that luxury and I’m thankful.
Speaking of names, ever wondered why a carrot is called a carrot and not an orange? Who decides these things? Carrots and oranges. Fruits and vegetables. Hmmm. My visit to the local fruit and vegetable market in Sharjah has been one of my best decisions this year. The market is located in Rolla which according to my sister is “the Sharjah version of Deira in Dubai”, they have everything, a fabric market, meat market, even a gold souk. Although, to be completely honest I didn’t spot a fake Prada bag, or Brazilian weave, sorry guys. Obviously, if you’re still reading, you want to know why it was one of the best decisions I’ve made this year? Simple, it was quality food at an amazing (cheap) price.
“Cheap” and “Food” a match made in heaven.
I was mind blown. Being in university, I’m constantly trying to master the art of money spending to avoid being perpetually broke, (If you’ve mastered it, please contact me). My formula is not the most effective, but it keeps me happy. I spend 60-70% on food. Ah yes, the life of a foodie. The Sharjah market is about to change my story. Can I get an Amen? I was able to buy 2 weeks worth of vegetables, roots and fruits for 100 Dirhams.
Repeat. I was mind blown.
Buying the same quantity of food in supermarket would have cost me 4 times as much. The fruits were juicy and plump. The vegetables were crisp and fresh. I don’t know what took me so long to visit. I particularly enjoyed the experience of being in a market. Living in the UAE where most food comes in shiny plastic wraps, you tend to loose touch with its natural roots. The market takes you one step closer, dew on the freshly picked vegetables, sand on the roots. Mundane factors that translate into excitement in a market setting. The act price haggling, warding off overenthusiastic traders and simply walking in-between mounds of fresh food is almost intoxicating. Another highlight was the fresh sugar cane and coconut juice. Nothing is more exotic and refreshing than coconut water in a coconut after food shopping. It was perfect.
So, tell what markets do you like to visit? I’d love to hear all about them. If you enjoyed this post, do leave a comment below and I’ll try to keep ’em coming.
See ya sooner than you think. Gbemi.