There are lots of things weighing on people’s minds in Dubai. The economic situation, cost of living, job security, regional strife.

I’ve been thinking about these things too. I’ve also been going through a crisis of my own – where to get the best kind of ice for drinks?

Mrs Saul has banned the purchase of an ice cube making machine and plastic ice trays are inefficient and clumsy, so ice has to be bought in.

Twenty Four Seven’s ice is a nice shape – rather like miniature church bells, but I find the they don’t sit so well in a glass. On top of that, the bags they sell are a bit too big, so I end up either having to throw some cubes away, which feels wasteful, or overfilling the freezer, which makes Mrs Saul wrathful. Anyway, the local 24/7’s shut down, so they are now completely out of the picture. Worth putting up with when they delivered, no longer worth considering now they’re not near by.

Choithrams’ ice cubes are too big. It’d be fine if I were drinking Coke out of, say, a one litre German beer mug, but I’m not. Their bags are too small as well. Two bags is a bit too much, one bag’s not quite enough. Plus, every Choithrams’ is laid out in a random and frightening manner, which makes me feel uncomfortable. Strike them off the list, even if they do have the most helpful bag packers and carriers in Dubtown.

Spinneys’ ice is a disaster, at least from our local shop. It should be perfect – the bags are the right size, the cubes nicely shaped. Sadly, at some point between production and purchasing, the average bag seems to sit in the sun and melt before being put in the shop’s freezer room. The result is one huge 5Dh ($1.30) ice cube and lots of shavings. Frustrating, but fine if all you’re doing is dumping them in a cool box to cool drinks. Not good for drinking though, unless you are placing one big cube in, say, a dustbin full of Coke.

Thankfully, I have discovered that Eppco petrol stations sell ice. Perfectly sized bags, lovely clear, square cubes, all for only 4Dhs (just over $1USD). Also, my local Eppcos have their own ice making machines. This means you can get ‘bag ice’ from the freezer if you’re in a hurry and it won’t be too melted together. If you have a bit of time you can request ‘fresh bag ice’ right out of the machine to avoid as much melting as possible. If you’re really lucky, the nice Philipinas at the till will start giggling at you and say you are ‘too much poggy sir!’ (very good looking). This happened to me this evening, much to my astonishment*. I must have been looking particularly dashing, or they must have been a bit shortsighted.

I whizz the ice home in a cool box, drain the water out of the bag, empty into the freezer section Mrs Saul recently allocated for ice cubes (following protracted negotiations and a mass rehousing of frozen peas). Shake them up ten minutes later to avoid unnecessary stickage and Bob’s your uncle.

Hurrah for Eppco. My quest is at an end. Both I and our guests can enjoy iced drinks with minimal hassle, whilst contemplating life’s Bigger Issues.

* This happened the other day at the office too. According to our head cleaning lady, also a Philipina, I look like Brad Pitt and my colleague Gerard looks like George Clooney. I think this is the positive side of ‘they all look the same to me’. Still, it’s nice walking into the office and having someone shout ‘helloooo Braaad!’ at you before collapsing in giggles. I have a sneaking suspicion the joke’s on me though…


2 Responses to “Ice!”

  1. Construction Worker Says:

    How middle class…….

  2. Rupert Says:

    Nearly back to your springtime levels of humour, when JH was to the fore.
    I am so pleased you consider, and share, the more serious problems of Dubai life!

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