Buying fresh milk is a straight forward process right? You go to the corner store/supermarket and from the fridge pick out what type of milk you want from the maybe 20-30 different varieties/types that are available and pay for it. Well not in Jordan!
The first time I asked Atef to buy milk he arrived home with a tin of condensed milk. It is a common practice here on the occasions that milk is added to tea or a pot of nescafe coffee is made that condensed milk is used. Needless to sayit was not what I was after. I explained to Atef that I was wanting milk to make a milkshake or add onto cereal or use in cooking.
Take two. Atef arrives home with a bag of milk powder. It was a classic case of lost in translation. Me, being used to an abundance of choices when it comes to fresh milk, thinking that I had described in sufficient detail what I required and Atef, growing up in a household that never has cereal for breakfast or milkshakes, buying what he was used to.
After adding that I wanted milk that was already made up not the powder Atef said why didn’t you just say that you wanted fresh milk. It was that all important word “fresh”.
Finally thinking that we had cleared up the misunderstanding I looked forward to getting some fresh milk. Atef returned with a carton of UHT milk. Why was I not surprised. In a country not known for it’s dairy industry (there are no cows!) why wouldn’t “fresh” milk be UHT milk. It was even refridgerated. UHT milk is kept in the fridge because to Jordanian’s it’s fresh. The other thing when buying “fresh” milk is it can be a bit of a lottery as to what type of milk I will get. It just all depends on what’s in the fridge on that particular day and that doesn’t necessarily mean that I will get a choice. Sometimes skim is all that’s in the fridge or it might be full cream, but not necessarily both. And no such choices as calcium enriched, vitamins added etc etc that you have access to in Australia. I’m lucky to have the option of full, low fat or skim.