Saturday, May 20, 2006

Flip-Flops Flipped Over‎

I was sitting in my living room the other day, doing nothing in particular, just thinking ‎and staring away, when I noticed that my flip flops were upside down. I immediately ‎went to them and returned them back to their normal position. Thought about this for a ‎second, and realized why I did this. ‎

It was one of those things that stays with you from your childhood: we were taught never ‎to leave flip flops or shoes upside down. And why is that? Because it would be ‎disrespectful to God. You shouldn’t put the sole of your shoes heading upwards towards ‎our Lord in the skies! What absolute rubbish. Then I remembered that how as a kid, I ‎was obsessed with keeping all the shoes, sandals, and flip flops of the household in their ‎God-respecting positions. And to think that such a thing goes around spreading between ‎people and people taking the time and effort to implement such a thing. As if God had ‎nothing better to do than sit there getting offended from the soles of flip flops facing him ‎around the world. ‎

It got me to thinking about other bullshit that you’re told as a kid and how you take it and ‎believe it then. I remembered that we had this nanny that would tell us that God came ‎and gave a choice to Muslims and Christians: The choice was between faith and beauty. ‎Muslims (naturally) choose faith, and Christians chose beauty. And that is why (she ‎explained) most Christians are beautiful. But not to worry, because it will all be sorted ‎out in the after life, where we will go to heaven, and get rewarded for putting up with our ‎ugliness. Not to worry at all. Thank God our parents corrected this crap when we told ‎them about it.‎

Indoctrination is such a powerful tool. Once you imprint something in the ‎impressionable mind of an innocent child, it will most likely stay there forever. This is ‎something that’s always s in the back of my head when dealing with my child.‎

Friday, May 12, 2006

Watermelon and White Cheese

Summer is here, and I’m starting to really enjoy some of my favorite summer treats. Top of my list is a food combination that you can only find in Egypt: Watermelon with White Cheese! I love it!! It is one of the tastiest and most delicious food combinations you could ever have. The sweet taste of water melons combined with the salty taste of white cheese makes an unbeatable taste that you can’t find in any other meal. As I was having some of it today, I started thinking of what else I wait for every summer. Well of course there’s mango – my favorite fruit ever. And it’s not just any type of Mango, it’s only the type we call “Alfonse” in Egypt that I love and crave. I’m drooling just thinking about its taste right now. It’s got the sweetest taste with just the right texture: not too hairy, and full of meat without having the pit to be too large. I could eat 6 or 7 Alfonse mangoes in one go. Thinking about watermelon and cheese and Alfonse mangoes got me to thinking about foods that are very specific to Egypt. Moloukhia, of course, is the quintessential Egyptian meal (well, Lebanese and Syrians cook it, but they make it in a completely different way that tastes aweful!). People not familiar with Moloukhia get disgusted from it when they first try it – I know many foreigners that thought it was gooey and sticky and they hated it. I don’t know how anybody could ever hate Moloukhia – it is by far the best vegetable ever created (and this coming from somebody who completely hates vegetables). Koshary is another Egyptian trademark – although I don’t really like it. Something about the combination of rice and pasta just doesn’t do it for me.

Time to go eat some more watermelons and cheese!