11 September 2009 The Tomato Arab’s Final Offer
I fondly and vividly recall my last breakfast ingredient run to the tomato Arab’s side shop between Edgware Road and Cato Street in London’s Marylebone.* I’d begun the habit of eating a tomato on a day in September during my first steps central London. Back then, the tomato Arab charged me 55p, the sticker price. None months later, I was down to 25p, a regular‘s price, and apparently only 5p more than he charged his own mum.
“I leave London today,” I told the tomato Arab.
“Ohhhh. Okey. Vedy good. Be safe. Tomato is 30p.”
“But it’s been 25p for the last six weeks.”
“Okay then 25p.”
“What about 20p?”
“It’s my last breakfast in London!”
“20p! Are you crezy?! My mother pay 20p to me and I tell her later for five more p, men! Aw ma God!” He shook his head in exaggerated disbelief. “…20p. You too crezy, men.”
*Note: I was running late that morning and didn’t have time to visit the egg Pakistani so that I could make my daily omelette. He charged me 15p per egg, down from 30, and I’ll forever wonder if he’d have sold me my last two eggs for 10p each.
Also posted in the Open Salon.