Thursday, May 26, 2011

Stuff Arabs Like #14: Juice Boxes

I want you to do me a favor. You will need the mental image for this post to really make sense. So go on, close your eyes. Are they closed? Okay, good. Now, imagine a 40 year old man...with the traditional Saudi goatee...in a thobe...talking on a cell phone...at a business meeting...sipping on a juice box.


That's right. A juice box. Arabs love them. It is, for them, the perfect drink on the go. In the States you see people sipping on a Diet Coke or a Dr. Pepper (mmm, Dr. Pepper), but here they choose to get their refined sugars from the cardboard box equivilant of a Capri Sun. It's not like they're drinking healthy fruit juice either. Sure, it's fruit juice, but how much of that came from actual fruit? The ingredients never lie... The aisle at the grocery store is literally top to bottom filled with different flavors and brands from all over the world. It's like a United Nations of boxed drinks.

And the best part of all is that EVERYONE drinks them. Toddlers, teenagers, and yes, even grown men. Professional men. I went into our version of Verizon the other day to get some stuff with our account worked out and the gentleman who helped me was nursing an apple juice the whole time we talked. It was one of those tiny 4 oz. boxes with a bright yellow bendy straw. Adorable.

While you would expect to see people sipping on their Starbucks in the morning on the way to work, usually the gentleman in the BMW passing you on the left is relishing a mango juice with added sugar. When you think the two shebab wandering around the mall would be drinking a Coke you are surprise to see them squeezing a fruit juice cocktail to get the last drops out of it.

I can totally understand the Mr. Mom whose only choice for liquid refreshment on the go is the orange juice he tossed in the diaper bag before heading out on the road to see Grandma. Or even the soccer coach who is washing down some orange slices with a grape juice after a tough loss to the Joe's Hardware Eagles. But with the frequency that we see grown men drinking from the boxed goodness we can only assume that they have chosen this as their beverage of choice.

Vicariously yours,

1 comment: