They used to be called TV dinners, and they were — and are — a big thing in the West. But I’ve found that they are hard to come by in the Middle East.
Or at least in the UAE, which has been my home for the past five years. I think the assumption here is that you either eat out, or you cook your own food from scratch.
That’s fine — unless you’re on your own. And it seems that when it comes to living alone, I am more or less on my own.
It is uncommon in the Middle East for men of my age not to be married and living with their extended family. And while house-sharing among people of the same gender does occur — mainly among men on lower wages who are erroneously termed bachelors (they generally have families in their home countries) — mixed-gender sharing is illegal in the UAE.
The upshot is that finding a frozen meal for one, for those times I don’t feel like cooking or eating out alone, isn’t easy.
So I’m pleased to report that my local convenience store has just restocked a range of Thai meals that are quite tasty. And, of course, there’s always that special shop a little further afield that sells microwavable Aussie meat pies and sausage rolls.
But I’ve probably just visited it for the last time, because I’ll be hitting the road again in just over a month’s time.