cost of living

Death by Oranges

If you are Canadian, do you remember how special mandarin oranges were at Christmas?  When I was a kid in Prince George imported oranges were an exotic treat.  We knew Christmas was around the corner when the cardboard boxes, full of individually wrapped mandarins, arrived from China.  The crinkle of the tissue paper.  The novelty of an easy-peel orange.  Oranges were expensive in northern grocery stores 40 years ago.

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Fast forward to my new life in southern Spain and fresh local oranges can be had for forty cents a kilo!  That’s 18 euro cents a pound! (OK, if you exchange to Canadian dollars it doesn’t sound so cheap.  But still, 25 cents a pound, 57 cents a kilo.)

I could just buy myself 10 kilos and juice away for a week, but that is no fun. Instead  I find friends to share the bounty with and we get a bulk delivery to my house.  So how many oranges did I order last week?

100 kilograms!

That is a beautifully monsterous pile of oranges.  I don’t really need 100 kilos, nor do I need to organize my neighbours’ produce purchases.  But I did it just for the sheer joy of seeing all that vitamin C piled up on my patio.  You might be surprised to learn that 100 kilograms of juicy, sweet oranges easily fit into a Ford Fiesta.  Juice dense oranges are a concentrated use of space.

So, you poor northern slobs, with your ridiculously priced food trucked in from California.  I will eat an orange for you. Maybe 3.  My little electric juicer will sing its song for you as it pumps out yet another glass.    I’ll even buy another 100 kilos of oranges to share with you when you visit me.  Cost to me, 40 euros.  Cost for your plane ticket, 1000 euros.  See you soon!