Grocery Shopping (Refugee Stories)

Yesterday, I was sitting with the Syrian family I posted about last week.They still don’t have their SNAP card, and really it probably will be another two weeks before they get it.

We were having coffee, and everyone is sitting around pointing at thing to practice the English (esp. American accent). I told the mom that I had my car and we could go to the store if she wanted. She declined.

The kids went insane – WHY mama why?

I told her, let’s go. She said no, no…after two days we’ll need food. I dropped the subject. We kept talking. She’s now cutting up an apple and orange to serve with the coffee.

We go through the house, and write all the words in a notebook. “Wall, oven, stove, sink, water bottle, pot, tissue, window, closet… yes, it’s an s but we say it like z.”

Then she asks, “what are bandora called?” “Tomato”.

“I thought tomato was batata.” “No, that’s potato. Potato and tomato!”

“Maybe we can get those from the store…and what about khubbz?” “Bread, do you want to go now?”

“Can all of us go?” “Of course.”

So we went to the store, and they’re getting what they need. Anything, anything. They keep asking, “is this too much?” “No, get what you need.” “What is this called in English?” “Dates. Do you need chicken?” “What is chicken?” and one of the kids responds, “Djaj, mama.”

The grand total? $30.55.

While we were checking out, the cashier/owner asked if this was the family I had purchased food for previously. I nodded, and he turned to her and asked, “where are you from?”

She replied, “Syria”.

He then came out from behind the counter and sent the kids home with boxes of sweets as a welcome gift.

(Originally posted on my Facebook, March 28, 2017)

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2 thoughts on “Grocery Shopping (Refugee Stories)

  1. Hi Amanda,

    1) are you still helping this family.
    I think now during Ramadan they might need your attention.
    Keep us updated!

    2) Is Ramadan for reverts really as hard as people claim?

    Like

    1. 1) Yes! I’m still in close contact with the family. Is there something you’d like to help with?

      2) Yes! I can write another piece about that, if you’d like. The main issues are loneliness (no extended family to share with) and friction with immediate family. Often, though convert/reverts have a better outlook on Ramadan in light of how it *should* be practiced, instead of how it is *culturally* practiced.

      Like

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