Sunday, August 06, 2006

30 minute break

She was hungry this evening but her stomach was bloated
in the grey-tan old quarter
She walked down one street

and another
short breaths
(faint pee-garbage smell)

looking for something cheap to eat, not sweet, not another bocadillo
She came across a free exhibit
She went in, it was dark, empty, damp, old vaulted ceilings, large squared rocks
She looked at some video exhibits
probably done by young artists
She didn’t really understand the messages
She picked up their corresponding pamphlets
and walked back outside
across the street she spotted the Islamic pastisseria
She didn’t know if they would have non-sweet stuff or not
rows of honey-dripping baklava filled the shop-front window
It looked like inside they had some non-sweet stuff
so she went in and purchased a frosted custard cream something
and a pack of Lebanese pita bread
and a large curry chicken fritter.
She gave the smiley curly-beard man a 5€ bill, forgetting that she had coins
shukaran” she said, and he smiled
She wondered if he understood her Arabic
and she wondered if his long beard meant he was extra religious
like “jamón extra” (supposedly a superior type of pre-packaged ham)
She walked out
headed back to her study place

on the narrow sidewalk
opened up the plastic bag of pita bread
opened up the oil-stained paper bag of the large curry chicken fritter
and wrapped the bread around it.
Yummm it was good,

it was white meat
not too spicy
She stopped.

and thought…

I could eat this for dinner too…


She turned around
headed back to the Islamic pastesseria.
“¿me puede poner uno más de esos de pollo?”

it was a different guy (also with a long curly beard)
he gave her another chicken fritter
She put it in her plastic bag
She said “shukaran” and gave him 1€
No response
She left and headed back toward her study place
then on, on a façade, she saw something that might be worth sharing with academia
there was some graffiti, and among it a Nike symbol
but instead of Nike it said “BCN” (Barcelona)
with the non-fritter hand

she got out her digital camera
took a picture
put the camera back in its case
back in the plastic bag
and headed back to the study place
thinking about graffiti and why it was that her stomach was always bloated.

Update: She returned to the ¨Pastisseria Islámica¨ the other day and learned that the shopowners are not Arabic but Pakistani and that thank you in Pakistani is ¨shukria.¨

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