Originally posted on The Expat Garden(er)

Standards are different here in the Kingdom. Tiny, bulbous, shiny black insects can burrow and tunnel in your huge glass jar of chili powder; little beetley insects can camp out in unopened plastic bags of pasta from the supermarket; and plant labels can have obviously incorrect names on them.

Not that that's any different from the states, however. Exotic Angel, anyone?

But seriously, this Aloe variegata, which I purchased at Tamimi supermarket on campus for 20 riyal to remind me the one (lovingly purchased for me in New York City) I killed, is labeled as Mammillaria spinosissima, which is a cactus. I wanted to chalk it up to just being put in the incorrect pot--there are cacti available for sale right next to the mislabeld Aloe, after all. But another was labeled as Cupressus (you know, cypress!) and had a flower glued onto it. I don't necessarily expect the imported workers to know what label they're sticking on a plant or why the heck it's wrong to glue a fake flower that looks nothing like an Aloe flower (or Cupressus flower, for that matter), but someone in the operation probably should. Then again, saying that, it seems like I assume I have some sort of high ground to stand on, but the same ignorant, shady stuff happens back home, too.

It's much more common, and for some reason less offensive, to me that these fake flowers are glued to various prickly cacti. It may be because I usually don't have an inclination to buy these, anyhow. With my care habits, I usually end up rotting these babies out in weeks.

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3 Responses to Standards

  1. I am cracking up at the glued-on fake flowers.

  2. For some reason, this reminds me of the brightly-dyed chicks they used to sell around Easter time when I lived in Syria.

  3. 'tis true. Although in Doha's Souq Waqif, the cute little dyed chicks are sold other times than Easter. I think I tried to tweet the chicks, but the whole internet situation in Qatar was a nightmare.


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