Dinner with Hassan

Hassan is a friend of mine who works at the corner-store near my house. We go to the gym together and whenever I have time I try to stop by and hang out. We talk about a lot of things such as America, Egypt, and what the best shoulder work out is (I’ll admit I have been slacking a little on the gym lately).

I like Hassan because he is a nice guy, but also because he is really easy to talk to and is not over-friendly. What I mean is that some Egyptians will consider you their new best friend immediately upon meeting them and call you 10 times a day. I think this is really nice and people do not mean any harm by it, but it can put you off. Cultural differences.

Anyway, Mustafa, Hassan’s uncle, invited me to eat dinner with them tonight in their store, and I wanted to share the experience and the food. Mustafa made a simple, typically Egyptian meal. We had aiysh beledi (“country bread,” or Egyptian pita bread), mixed salad, kofta (ground beef), some type of meatloaf, and some kind of chicken thing – look at the picture. The salad was good, but the meat was delicious and better than a lot of the meat one would get here at a nice restaurant. Nothing beats home cooking.

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In Egypt, unlike in America, when someone invites you for a meal, you can but are not expected to bring anything. An invitation to eat here is a serious thing, and it is the host’s pleasure to have you over and to eat all of their food. In fact, Egyptians will sometimes almost force you to eat until you explode. I had to fight with Hassan because he was practically shoving the last kofta down my throat. It is very nice, but an easy way to get indigestion!

Also, I noticed that many Egyptians do not drink with their meal. I was the only one drinking (water) during dinner. At the end of the meal we had soda, which it seems to me acts as a refreshment, a dessert, and a digestif all at once, because most Egyptians do not drink alcohol. When someone asks you if you want haga sa’aa (something cold), they will bring you a Pespi or an orange Fanta, the latter to which I am slightly addicted.

4 Responses to Dinner with Hassan

  1. Maxwell says:

    what is the best shoulder exercise?

  2. Will says:

    Orange Fanta! Yes!!!!! Why can’t they sell that sweet, sweet nectar in the US?

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