I had a good first trip to the shuk today. I was blessed with a wonderful מדריכה (madricha/guide) in Tamar C. who met me at our usual meeting spot at 10am (three of us share a taxi to school in the mornings and we meet at a mutually convenient bus stop). She truly gave me a personal guided tour and was so generous with her time: I didn't realize til half-way through the trip that she wasn't planning on buying anything herself! I felt like I was in good hands. And that was before she insisted on carrying the half-a-watermelon home for me from the bus stop!!!
I am not an expert shopper in the best of circumstances, so I was not as in my element (or as excited to be out of my element) as some might be. For example, I'm not good at arguing or bargaining yet. But I did manage to remember the Hebrew word for lentils! It's עדשים (adashim)...not to be confused with עדשות (adashot) which means "contact lenses." I also bought brown rice, parsley, tomatoes, cucumbers, mangoes, a few sabra fruits (after the guy in the stall opened one and fed it to us to tempt us), dates, almonds, eggplant (in only one of its prepared varieties), and challah! These all came from seven or so different stalls. I still have a few things I need to buy to prepare for shabbat, but I think I'll go to the "Mister Zol" supermarket around the corner.
When I saw these fish, I was reminded of my friend Ed (who I used to sail with). He was not a vegetarian, but he didn't eat fish. When asked why he would always say, "I like my fish swimmin'" --these fish were so fresh they almost were still swimmin'! Maybe my little brother or some other fish expert will have a look at the pic and enlighten us as to what kind of fish they are.
Once Alan gets here and our kitchen is more up to speed, I will look forward to future trips to the shuk together. As his post shows, he loves the place and marketing in general...I think it's a form of recreation for him. I am especially looking forward to buying chicken and other meat there (on this trip I went in a dairy direction, buying a large block of goat feta). Tamar also showed me how some of the beef is coded with numbers that refer to where on the animal that cut comes from.
Tonight I'm going to shabbat dinner at Melila's and then tomorrow Tamar G. (my life is filled with Tamars!) and hopefully a few other people are coming for shabbat lunch. This is shabbat Nachamu, a time of comfort after the nadir of Tisha B'av. Shabbat shalom!