Crème Fraiche Epaisse – for the non-French speaking types (like me), is sour cream. A must have for burritos and other tex-mex. We were able to find ‘tortelas’ (tortillas) easily, yay!, but we had to scour the never-ending dairy aisles – products labeled in all sorts of languages - looking for sour cream, and eventually found a tiny container labeled in French. The ingredients implied it was fermented, so we gave it a try… good find!
The twirly thing on the car door – is a window crank! You silly kids! And sure, you can try it…
Halloumi cheese, aka squeaky cheese, is good stuff in cooking. I’ve had it before and liked it, cooked, and in tomato sandwiches, but have discovered that it’s pretty tasty cut into chunks and thrown into curry too. Honor says it is better than feta.
Dual voltage – (110v-240v) – is what most of our electronics are after years of living overseas, so we find that need fewer and fewer power transformers. We were actually looking at a nice coffee/cappuccino machine this weekend. We noted that it had a local type of plug, but figured that we could always get an adapter to take it back to the US with us. Does this make us official expats now?
At least 4 – The number of different shapes of electrical sockets in our home, not counting the ones that might be cable(?). It still takes us a long time to figure them all out! We have figured out the phone, at least. We’re getting there, and haven’t fried anything yet.
21 – Approximately the number of sets of keys on things for this house (some doors require 2 or more keys, and I’m counting that as one set) - doors, cabinets, rooms, etc. The freezer does NOT have a key, although there is a place for one… hmm?
Infinity – Approximately the number of switches in this house. I need a labeler! (and colorful key caps…)
Turnnel – What Brad said when he forgot how to speak English and tried to say tunnel. We teased him, but then later found out that there actually is such a thing. There are handy tunnels all over the place here – rather than go straight through a traffic circle, you can often take a tunnel underneath and miss the congestion. However, there is at least one that we found that does NOT go through where we thought it would. It goes left! We found a turnnel.
Welcome kit – This is a note for those who might be coming this way via the Embassy… and before I go any further, let me say that I think we are lucky to move into a place and have ‘stuff’ waiting for us. Pots, pans, linens, etc. Things to use before our own goods arrive. This isn’t a problem that I am complaining about, just something to keep in mind for folks packing to come here. Most posts provide HUGE welcome kits. Honestly, there will be so much stuff that we usually put most of it back in the boxes and never touch it. Here, the kit is quite the opposite - just the bare necessities and not much extra. Most is glass/china, not plastic-ware for the littler ones.
Spice bottles – We couldn’t pack out any non-perishables or spices when we left Cairo. Sometimes you can, sometimes you can’t. Anyway, I wish I’d at least kept my spice bottles. You can buy spice in bulk at good prices at the grocery stores.
London Dairy – has good ice cream! We don’t eat a lot of dessert, but we like a nice ice cream at times. No Bryers, but London Dairy was a good trade. Goods are more expensive here, than in the US, simply because of the exchange rate and VAT, but there is an incredibly awesome selection to experiment with - not always the brands we are used to, but we’re learning new brands – and it’s FUN! Ok, maybe for me. Perhaps not all newcomers would agree. But I really like to experiment in cooking, so ‘fun’ is a good word for me to use here. There are even generics (to at least try – some are good, some ‘eh.’; typical).
Hmm? I’ve been compiling this little list, saved as draft in my writer, to turn into a “One Month In-Country” post. I don’t think think I’ll wait a month! Enough’s enough! I’ll just keep this titled, ‘Stuff we’ve learned so far’ and we’ll go from there.