Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The burger's return

I learned the verb for “to vomit” in Arabic today. “Istafaragh,” which comes from the root, to void or to empty. A more colloquial way of saying it is “raj’a,” which means to return. That’s what I was doing after the Mac Chain burger – or maybe its special sauce? – didn’t agree with me. I’m only now eating again. I haven’t been that sick since 1998, when I ate a bad BLT at my grandmother’s retirement community. Then, I ended up in the hospital. This time, a stash of Cipro has saved me.

My appetite returned this afternoon when I shared with a friend one of my favorite Levantine dishes: a large plate of fettah b’il lehmeh in a tiny restaurant in Ramallah’s Old City. Fettah is hummous and bits of bread soaked in warm water, covered with chick peas, and parsley. The lehmeh is fried bits of lamb meat, which is generously sprinkled on top. Sliced tomato, onion and pickles on the side.

Our cook and waiter was Mazen, whose brother lives in Houston. Mazen said Houston is home to thousands of Palestinians originally from Ramallah. He would like go too, once he finishes his undergraduate degree at Birzeit – provided he obtains a visa.

3 Comments:

Blogger Mike said...

Great Blog Bob. I find your accounts of a world I've never been (and probably never will go to) very interesting. Keep up the great posts.

12:59 PM  
Blogger Papa said...

With all the Cipro you've popped for digestive problems in foreign countries, I'm surprised your system is still responsive to it.

6:36 PM  
Blogger Greggor said...

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12:36 PM  

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