Saturday, September 4, 2010

The final - I mean it - Iftar

Truly, this was astounding. A couple of weeks ago, a colleague whom I do not know from Eve put out an all e-mail inviting the staff to iftar at her house. Following my current policy of saying yes to everything - I'm not sure how much longer I can keep this up - I responded in the affirmative. Bear in mind that I had two such events back to back. I reserved a cab in advance, because finding transport in the hour before and after iftar is nigh on impossible. Right after I got in the cab, we spotted one of my students stranded. Of course, I couldn't leave her there, so we picked her up and drove in the opposite direction to take her home. This was the single most expensive cab ride I've had, at ten dinars, or about $8.50.

Friends helping Iija serve.
I arrived a little late as a result to a very new subdivision, in a beautiful home with polished marble floors. Smiling African women - I later learned that my host was Somali - guided me up and up the stairs until at last we stepped out onto the roof. My jaw dropped. All the chairs were covered in quilted satin, the tables had layers of cloths and netting and petals. Candles floated in blue water-filled vases. And the people! About a third of the people were West African, the men in long shirts and the women in fabulous dresses and headscarves. It didn't feel right to go around snapping photos, so my words will have to do. Tida provided dinner for ninety people. Nine zero. 90. Appetizers, salads, mains of chicken, lamb and fish, couscous,vegetables, purple fritters made out of I don't know what, home made juices made from flowers, Somali chai and about six desserts. For ninety people. And through it all, she circulated amongst her guests, laughing and talking and making it all look easy.

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