Saturday, January 03, 2009

Yoghourt* Prices Trigger More Expat New Years Whinging

Milk glut? Farmers ploughing their dairy cows back into the soil as fertilizer? Milk run-offs polluting the drinking water in starving nations?

Not seeing it here in Singapore where my all-time favorite Victorian Jalna pot-set vanilla yoghourt still costs around SGD$9.60(AUD$9.42) for a 500g tub in the one or two supermarkets (Tanglin is one, natch) where you can find it here. The same tub on the virtual shelves of Safeway supermarket in Geelong is about $3.82($3.75).

Ah, the kick in the teeth we expats take on a daily basis just to get out taste buds around something like our home country quality. Supermarkets here perform merely a cheeky lip-service to the needs of the elite 'foreign talent' such as myself - witness the way Vegemite comes and goes from the shelves, the fact that there are only 217 types of flat-bread available, rather than the ASA mandatory 432. And don't we raise our eyebrows over the restricted range of Trail Mix or salad dressings? Just try to find a nice slice of ox-tongue when you need it most! Supercilious, indeed they are to our needs. An Aussie has to keep an ear out and an eye open for special gossip of the supply ship coming in as we spend our days wandering through Tanglin Mall looking for something 'Oriental' to send home to the family. It can really get up your nose.


And where have the soap and powders of my clean, non-sweaty dreams gone? I merely WANT Pears transparent soap, but I really NEED Dettol Daily Talcum Powder (SAFETY WARNING: do not use the Menthol version on scrotal regions!). With Dettol's perfect level of 9% zinc active-ingredient, I can rest (or be active) assured that I will not get great clumps of off-white clag adhering to my ball- and arse-hairs (as happens with 15% zinc powders) nor will an irritating anti-social rash develop in the crease of my lap-areas during the course of my 99% humidity day. Experienced expat men of the sweaty, groin-rash-prone variety know this, or they certainly learn it eventually the hard way.

Whispers in the post-golf shower room, mutterings in the club over snooker and gin-tonics - someone notices a certain gait, recognizes the wide-stanced symptom of a fellow traveller. Some high zinc concentrate powder (15%) in the acute phase, or even a some nappy-rash creme... A new brand of underwear is required - many swear by latex and recommend the pricey American ones, but M&S (when their freaking underpants ship comes in to dock) may have cheaper alternatives in stock. Some are happy with loose boxers, but I am not of that party. But once that red groin-crease of horror is under control, a 9% powder is required to maintain a rash-free, clag-free sexual recreation territory. In HK I found that Amiens, an American brand, in selected pharmacies, was perfect. Then after two months, knowing I needed it and being bastards, they refused to restock. Eventually I found Dettol (UK brand). Although it is an ESSENTIAL part of my life in the heady tropics, is also not available in most supermarkets or pharmacies in Singapore. Talcum powder, they think in these parts, is soft and gentle for babies' bums or lavender-scented to mask old grannies' incontinence.

No, I swear, talc is for REAL MEN! With real issues. But often I cannot get the zinc I need! I stock up when I can, but people look at you funny when you travel across the island to buy six shakers of talc...

I have some of those other brands of course, packed away in my toiletries cupboard. They were purchased in extremis and under suffrage, and they are rubbish, tripe, they make me puke, they are shite, useless, a failure in the provision of the service the proffer to deliver, etc,...

Ok ball-rash digression over, back to yoghourt.


E@L, why, Falstaffian fellow, you tactfully ask, do you go for the Premium Creamy tub rather than the Low Fat? Other than the fact that one is rich, firm and luscious and the other is unavailable? Why do I not select from the the plethora of other yoghourt brands instead of hunting for my delicious Jalna (nurtured in the green valleys of the mighty Yarra)? Why do I not compromise and go for cheaper stuff like Marigold and,... and, yuck, whatever.

Dear reader, E@L replies, did you not read the bit above about "rich, firm and luscious"? Other yoghourts are like some form of liquid plastic by comparison; artificially thickened and festering with bad chemicals like,... like, yuck, whatever. I eschew them, they are too,... too, like, yuck, chewy.

Nutritional Comparison

Jalna Low Fat - "Energy": 441kj/100g, Fat/100g: 2.0g, Sugar/100g 14.2
Jalna Premium - "Energy": 520kj/100g, Fat/100g: 4.6g, Sugar/100g: 12.0

There you go, bugger all difference really. I only use two scoops (maybe 60g) in my mixed fruit and muesli breakfast. So I am saving in sugar (getting heaps of carbs from the fruit anyway) and increasing the calorific total by only about 30kj.

A little bit more fat, but that's what Lipitor is for, right?


(*Yes, I know there's an alternative (i.e. non-Australian) spelling, but I am an Australian, so get fucked.)

(Oops, just realised that my GMail timezone does not carry over to Blogger. Fixed, I hope.)


DanPloy said...

I used to buy my cooling powder from Golden Mile; the Thai stuff is quite capable of replacing liquid nitrogen as a sperm preserver if placed anywhere near genitalia; as a side benefit you could use it to freeze your own yogurt.

I never really missed much Western food whilst in Singapore and was quite happy to use whatever I found in FairPrice with a liberal amount of chilli to give it that certain bite.

That said, I did miss good cheese as I couldn't be bothered to search out the ex-pat orientated stores.

expat@large said...

Discerning readers may note a note of tongue in cheek one or two of those paragraphs...

"Freeze your own yogurt[sic]" Very witty. You should write your own blog (or at least edit mine!) - hey I can't get onto yours! Wassup? Becasue you are travelling?

DanPloy said...

My blog comments look like they are working, I assumed I hadn't any comments because no-one reads it. I am in Canada at the moment enjoying the frosty weather while my wife is in Thailand enjoying somewhat warmer weather.

Sorry about the mis-spelling.
In return I couldn't help but notice 'psuedoscientic'.

expat@large said...

I am having some Internet trouble here - Google search thinks I am a robot and is making me type a keyword everytime, GMail is taking forever to load an email, and I get an "internet connection failed" when I try to go to your blog! WTF!

Please be kind, re: typos - it was 2:30am. Internet insomnia. Sleep deprivation astigmatism.

expat@large said...

Oh and I didn't mean to imply you had spelled "yogurt" wrongly, only that it was the American (European?) way, not the much longer and more inefficient Australian way - "yoghourt". Just a yolk.

expat@large said...

Yay, today it's working!

Indiana said...

Google thinks you are a robot??? I know that you are one :-)

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