More dispatches from my Dad in Djibouti (say it with me kids: Djibouti!)
Back to sunny Djibouti. I was invited these last few days to lunch twice in a "traditonal" restarant of Yemeni origin, "Mukhbaaz", it is called, serving baby lamb (and goat) and fish oven roasted - and very loud talking as a side dish. One was "baladi khalis" [ed: country] , meaning no airconditioning, no frills, and the other a bit better, with AC. But both compete in talking loud (kawareek) [ed: Arabic for "shouting and hubbub"] and banging chairs and tables while pretending to arrnge them after each dining group leaves.
The food, I must confess, was good, but Mom would most likely not touch it, bearing in mind the general state of hygiene. Washing your hands is close to laundry. A heap of Omo [ed: powdered detergent] is put next to the "sink" where water is very salty. I tried the bathroom ( as usual), and I had to go through the kitchen where the fish is kept in a huge trough and where about a dozen over dressed men and women were milling (and shouting). The side dishes (besides kawareek) is a sort of banana paste, rice mixed with a mysterious stuff and something that looks like " sha3eeriya" [ed: Sudanese sweet pasta typically dessert]with cement.
Did I tell you that they have a souk called " souk alzubab" [ed: Arabic for "Fly Market"]? This is the veggy/meat market, which explains the flies and the appropriate name. I did not write it "fly market" lest you read it "flea market" which gives a totally different meaning and ambiance. Money changers are always women -overdressed and big-bottomed, big-bossomed, and sitting on sidewalks all around "down town".
Tomorrow, the President ( bel 3arragi) will decorate UNESCO with the highest national medal : the Palme de Trois Etoiles ! I had to postpone my departure (not an easy feat) to accept that singular honour. You will receive a full report on the event.