Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

Hamid, David’s work driver, showed David what he claims is Khartoum’s best Ethiopian restaurant, Habeesha (it’s next door to Top Man barber). We went there last weekend. It had a marvellously small menu—7 items—so we got one of everything that wasn’t raw (we skipped the salad and the raw lamb). We love Ethiopian food—the tangy injera bread, the great toppings on the injera, the whole eat-with-your-fingers sensory immersion—and the experience at Habeesha did not disappoint! After we had eaten we polled everyone to see what their favorites were and every single item of food got somebody’s vote.

There was another Anglophone family (I think perhaps Ethiopian) sitting at the table next to us. They had a thirteen month old girl named Iris who came over first. She was fascinated by Eleanor, and Eleanor was fascinated by her. They stared at each other a while until Iris’ four year old brother, Cesar, came over and put their hands together and encouraged them to give each other kisses. It was a very sweet sight. Iris ended up going back to hang out with her mom, but Cesar pulled up a stool to our low table and joined in the conversation. When our food came, he dug in and ate with us! Later, he went out and picked a flower and tried to give it to Eleanor. She refused it, so he pointed at Ruth and said to me, “I want her to have it.”

We all agree we will make a trip back to Habeesha. Maybe we’ll get a surprise dinner guest again, too!


CuracaoChick said...

I love Ethiopian! There's a resteraunt here, and it's soo good. but we don't get cute families visiting our tables.


heatherlady said...

It's good to hear that you're all doing so well and finding food. I especially liked your transliterated Arabic a post or two down from this one. Great job on learning the language, it's a tough one.
Essa ("Jesus"), a man who helps us with the anti-tobacco campaign, invited me to "walk the streets" with him and practice Arabic. I took this to mean that he'd help me learn to pronounce some Arabic words and learn some more basics. However, it ended up in him taking me to visit a few of his friends in the health department--I felt largely out of place while he conversed with them in Arabic. They offered me the typical coffeee and tea and then brought me water after I said no. When he finished talking, he motioned me to stand and we left. Finally, he showed me the economic taxi service and took me downtown to try a traditional desert at the original "Habibah" restaurant. We each had a piece of kanafel (a cheese desert with really sugary syrup poured on top). All in all it was a friendly and strange experience.
Once again, it's good to hear about your everyday experiences. This was my first time to view your site--I'll be back.