Posted: September 5th, 2013
The note sent by the customer seems not to be related to anything about the initial instructions, or the order itself. There is no mention of “Camille” or “Cramping”, and I do not understand what Nd in “edit it for Nd” means. Please seek an urgent clarification since it is an urgent revision. Thank you.
The Tamim family was heading to yet another reunion. At the pilot seat of our Ford Estate was my dad, Mr. Abbas while my mother occupied the co-driver seat. The back seats had six zealous relatives who would not sit still for a second. I was one of them. The trip was supposed to end at Aunt where we had a family reunion every December. I personally detested these functions where many salaams were necessary, a lot of discipline was expected and many rituals performed (Long 37). The sight of Aunt Aisha’s looming residence snapped me back to reality. Her house was in-fact a three-storied mansion located in
As soon as we entered the house, I knew I had made a terrible mistake tagging along on the trip. The lounge was perhaps forty by eighty feet in size and nearly every inch of the sprawling rug covering its floor was occupied by a relative of some sort. At a glimpse, I saw my cousin Ali busy chatting with another cousin, Faizah about the joys of American soccer. Khalifa, my uncle was engaged in a heated debate withYousef, Ahmad and Gafar, my three other uncles. My grandfather, Mr. Tariq was on his usual drone on his times as a soldier in the Second World War.
My instincts told me that I would regret coming over but I chose to ignore them and milled in among the crowd. Soon the meals were served and everybody helped himself or herself to the wide cuisine. The meal consisted of Kabsa spice mix, Maragat Bamia and Baked Kufta (Edelstein 528). After the heavy meal, everybody found themselves a spot on the couches, sofas and rugs for a story telling session- my most dreaded moment. Of all the stories told, the one by my uncle Mahmood was the most amusing and embarrassing of all.
Drawing attention to him, Uncle Mahmood silenced the buzz by declaring,” Now, who would like to hear Ahmed’s story once more?” The excited response from the audience made me cringe, as I knew what was coming. He took up a vantage point on top of a high chair and started “Many of you don’t know why Ahmed is always referred to as the “Softhead. Do you? “. The mention of that episode made me feel even worse. He continued. “You see when Ahmed was about three years old, he was a particularly agile fellow and he kept us busy the whole day just running up and down and keeping an eye on things. He happened to be very cheeky too, the scoundrel.”
Everyone burst into laughter knowing all too well my enthusiastic ways. Uncle Mahmood waited for the laughter to subside before going on.” Well, the reason for his nickname “Softhead” was an incident in 1992”. He had now lowered his voice to a loud whisper that baited everyone’s attention and he liked it that way. “Ahmed was his usual cheeky self,” he continued, “when he felt the house was too small for him. Therefore, he waited for a chance to roam outside the compound. When the ayah was not concentrating on him, Ahmed slipped out and walked the compound with the naivety of a child.”
“Here comes the funny part!” I wished I could sublime out of the room as fast as I could. “My granddad had several camels grazing around the yard and Ahmed thought they were interesting”. Chuckles were starting to erupt in the expectation of what was about to be narrated. “ Funny, he went straight behind the camel and started milking the poor animal straight into his mouth !”. The peal of laughter was very loud. “Go on, oh please continue” they cheered him on as I watched helplessly. “The camel obviously didn’t appreciate being milked at ten am so guess what it did to Ahmed ?”. The crowd went silent as he blurted, “It relieved itself on Ahmed’s before kicking my old cousin two feet away!” The screams of laughter were deafening as I made my way to the front door. Soon, they had forgotten my story and moved on to another one.
Edelstein, Sari. Food, Cuisine, and Cultural Competency for Culinary, Hospitality, and Nutrition Professionals. Sudbury, Mass: Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 2011. Print.
Long, David E. Culture and Customs of Saudi Arabia. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, 2005. Print.
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