On Sunday, my husband and I both decided be wanted very different things for iftari, my husband wanted pizza and fresh chip shop chips. I had other ideas. I wanted a thai fish curry. No problems there, being sensible I knew I had to buy three things: thai curry paste, coconut milk and fish. Quite simple I thought.
I headed off to the local supermarket and I don’t know how or when it happened but in the short time that I was in the shop I had amassed so many things in my trolley it was beyond belief! I think my first fault was that I decided to push a trolley rather than collect things in a basket. I think the second aspect of blame should go to the supermarket or rather the hordes of people who decided that shopping on a Sunday morning was the time to do a weekly shop…somehow this induced my shopping desire! Ok, ok I am definitely skating on very thin ice here, but this all affected my senses to the extent that I ended up purchasing double the amount of fish that I had intended to buy (monkfish AND prawns) one type would have been more than sufficient, double the coconut milk (I don’t really use it for anything else) AND all the other things I picked. Half of the things didn’t even go well together: a ready made frittata, marinated artichokes but actually I picked up the one with olives so a thirst inducing item, almond chocolate, goats cheese, gluten free bread rolls, corn flakes, avocados. Honestly I got them home and just had to ask myself one question: why?
An interesting thing happens when a person is fasting, despite constantly saying “its not about the food” it invariably does become about the food. You find that you are constantly thinking about food and what you would like to have. An example being that someone walks past you eating a bar of chocolate and suddenly you think “I must go and buy some chocolate because I will need to have some this evening”. There is no ‘need’ involved, it is all about want. You also realise how acutely sensitive your senses become, while previously smells around you blended into the atmosphere now each individual smell is as sharp as a knife. A person comes back from a coffee break and you ‘know’ that they have had a cappuccino with shot of hazelnut syrup! Suddenly all you crave is a cappuccino with a shot of hazelnut syrup. I can’t tell you the number of times in my fasting life I’ve gone off and bought something I have seen or smelt someone have during the day. I even go so far as buying a specific hot chocolate and taken it home on the tube and then reheated it for iftari!! Needless to say, going into a supermarket while fasting is not a brilliant idea however it is something that all of us will have to do!