The Eggplant Story


It is over a decade now, that we came here, to this continent. You know…..the New World, like Christopher Columbus did many centuries ago.

It wasn’t really that easy in the beginning. But I don’t want to write about the sad part. Sometimes, when we started to talk about our first year here, our friends are tell me, that I should write about this. Some things were funny, mostly sad, but…

That’s why I want to write tonight about one day – The Eggplant story.

Let’s start from where we came – Armenia. For those, who doesn’t know where it is – it’s a small country in mountains. Actually on the foot of the mountain Ararat, that one, from the Bible. Close to the Black and Mediterranean Seas. Armenia is very sunny and therefore there is tons of sweet fruits and beautiful vegetables.

When we came here my knowledge of English was close to zero (even though I fluently knew 2 languages and studied another one in school). But English – no.

So, it was a couple of months after our arrival. We went grocery shopping, bought some vegetables, including eggplants too. Prices here are in pounds, so different from what we are used to (in kilograms). We walked home from the store, no car back then. I started to look at the receipt. What we bought, was 3 small eggplants (baby eggplants) – and I saw the price for that – around $6! 6 bucks!!! 3 SMALL eggplants… I couldn’t believe it. I was furious! I should return them! Everybody started to calm me down, saying who is going to go back to the store? It was actually quite a bit of a distance. But I didn’t listen to anybody and in a minute I was already on my way to the supermarket, determined to fight. In my mind I was calculating how much money $6 will be in our national currency and was imagining how many kilo eggplants it would be… Imagine, in a summer time, harvest time every household was preparing preserves for winter, therefore people were buying 20, 30 kg of eggplants – and making different types of preserves – with tomatoes, pepper, garlic, and parsley, fried, grilled and etc… List is actually very long and preserves are very yummy!!! I remember, once I decided to buy 20kg and it was actually a big mountain of eggplants on our balcony. Thank God, they stay long, because I couldn’t handle that amount in one day.

So, remembering that, I was looking at 3 small eggplants in my bag and getting more and more angry.

I didn’t think much, when I took off alone, that I can’t speak English. I came to the store and started saying “Refund, Refund” repetitively to the cashier. The cashier was asking me something, but what’s the point? I couldn’t understand. She called a manager, and now he is asking me questions. I think, they were asking, what’s the problem with the vegetables? That word I knew – I said – expensive. And again – refund!

So… They give me my money back, I was relieved and went out from the store and there was my husband, catching his breath, just made it uphill to the store. I was so furious, I made it there in no time.

Now it is funny… I can laugh, sure. But, that particular day wasn’t funny at all for me.

In my next post I will write the recipe for an eggplant salad, and I promise you it is very easy and tasty.

Thanks for reading



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2 thoughts on “The Eggplant Story

  1. Yana October 2, 2014 at 11:42 am Reply

    A delectable blog with warmly written personal stories and mouth-watering recipes, to boot! I’ll be back to read for certain! I admit, I still, over 10 years after moving here, still get a slight shock at the price I pay for seasonal vegetables, especially after each stop at a farmers market. Only difference, I figure I should keep ’em. XO

  2. Jean Reinhardt April 13, 2015 at 6:26 am Reply

    I love your story,Nune. It was the same for me when we moved to Spain from Ireland. We lived there for almost 8 years and it was very rare to see a turnip (the large yellow kind). A couple of times I saw a tiny one in the supermarket for twice the price of a much bigger one at home. Once I even saw half a turnip wrapped in cling-film – that made me laugh. They grow so easily in Ireland, we feed them to the pigs here.
    So whenever I made a trip home I ate turnip every time. One day at the market in Spain I saw a stall full of large turnips, the first time I had ever come across them in any market, and I bought about six or seven. I was wondering why the stall-holder was smiling so much. I can’t remember the cost but it was way too expensive, so I sheepishly explained that I meant to say just one. It was the most expensive ‘cheap’ vegetable I have ever bought at about four times the price I would have paid in Ireland. Tasted good, though. Now I complain about the cost of peppers here in Ireland compared to Spain. 🙂

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