Friday, July 13, 2007

I falafel

What was once a quite enjoyable experience - eating, has become a chore I don't always look forward to. The once great food, when eaten everyday for three meals without variation starts to become bland, and I find myself craving such delicacies as cereal and frozen dinners. Of course there is quite a bit of variation in the restaurants, but the fast food available on the street that everybody eats when they are out and about is only of four sorts, shwarma, falafel, saaj, and fatayeer. First, shwarma, (chicken and lamb) - how long has the meat been on it's spindle is anyone's guess. It is eaten slathered with mayonaise and pickles and dipped in a puddle of chicken grease. I just get it with plain meat and bread.

Second, falafel, with it's distinctive Syrian donut shape. The part I like is when they smoosh the falafel into the bread with their fingers they just finished smoothing their hair back with. It comes with tahina and cabbage and some yogurt.

Third and fourth, saaj, fatayeer and it various bread-like brothers and sisters, is usually a pancake like bread with cheese and murtadela (the spam of the east), or fatayeer is a small pizza like bread with either cheese on it, spices, or ground meat. I don't have pictures of it to do it justice, but believe me, I have these four foods coming out my ears.

Whenever I have time to go to restaurants in between studying and sleeping it is a treat, and I get kebabs and hummus and rice and other great things that make me happy. But since I am so tired of eating the other food, I often just don't eat during the day, and have one meal at night. In between I eat slushes, fruit juice and ice cream.

This last weekend we went on a trip to Bloudan, a beautiful mountain resort of the rich and famous in the middle east and swam at a French hotel that has been 5 stars since 1950. We also went to the source of the river Barada that runs through damascus, and ate lunch in a cave in a mountain that has a restaurant in its caverns, and boat rides through the pools that fill it. Someday I'll post pictures of it. Stay tuned.

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