Saturday, 31 March 2012
A Healthy Money-Spinner
As I go about my weekly shop, I'm constantly being told the health benefits of the items I buy. I don't ask for this information but it's seems to have become a mandatory part of the sales pitch. I went to buy kumquats and when I asked the price per kilo, the stall holder, reeled off the benefits of eating kumquats; apparently they will lower my blood pressure, improve my blood purity and rid me of excess water. "Yes, but how much are they?" I tried again. "What are your symptoms?" he asked. I explained that there was nothing wrong with me, that I just like preserved kumquats and he shut up and sold me 15 TL's worth. A couple of days later, while buying artichokes, I was told they would improve my liver and help decrease the damage alcohol has done to my system. This was getting personal. Do they watch me approach and say to themselves, "Here comes an overweight, stressed-out dipsomaniac. We must sell her some nettles, carob and quince." Today, I was quite relieved to see signs up in the supermarket proclaiming the health giving wonders of coconut and cape gooseberry. Amateur herbalism has obviously become a national obsession since I was last living here. It's a good ploy to up sales and it works. I bought a box of the altın çilek, (Golden strawberries in Turkish) just in case they really do help me loose a kilo a week.