Since moving to South Sudan, I’ve been mystified by the strange and mysterious phenomenon of one thing: Pringles.
Back when I lived in my little container, I lived next to one of the khawaja stores (as I call them), packed with semi-Westernized amenities like Cadbury/Mars candies, yogurt, coffee makers, cake mix, and a slew of other products that are difficult to find elsewhere in Juba.
And Pringles. So, so, so very many Pringles.
The first day I walked in to the store, I actually laughed. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve found Pringles throughout the world in both developed and developing nations alike, however, this was going a bit to far. This store had an entire half of an aisle devoted to Pringles.
I guess once you pop you really can’t stop.
The best part about this though is the fact that the Pringles aisle became my unofficial gauge to seeing how diversified the stock became at this store (and how infiltrated the city became with expats and people demanded more variety). Slowly over the last 9 or 10 months, it’s evolved bit by bit, with the Pringles section being eaten away one can at a time…
Now, in the States, I can’t tell you the last time I bought Pringles, so why I’ve maintained such a fascination with them enough to track them, I don’t know. Maybe it’s because they’re the one truly American item other than sodas which are instantly recognizable to me.
But whatever the case, I vowed that I would never give in and buy the ridiculously overpriced American exports (even if it’s fun to see half the Pringles can written in Arabic).
But for some reason, on really rough days, I’ll show up at one of the khawaja stores looking for something to cook for dinner… and my resolve crumbles.
Pringles somehow have become my [ever so occasional] comfort food.
I really don’t understand it. Just what is it about Pringles, and how come the khawaja store can decrease its stock, but doesn’t affect my total lack of Bad Day Willpower?
Let’s just say that I may have eaten half a can of Pringles for dinner tonight.
You stay classy, Juba.
*PS: Pringles in no way paid nor sponsored me to write this post. However, they’re more than welcome to send me some compensation.