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Gayyash Al 'Aatifa

Monday, March 27, 2006

Fuul Rejection

It was nearly noon and I hadn't had breakfast and was craving fuul--outdoor, aluminum saucer street fuul, specifically. I was on Hoda Shaarawi by Felfela downtown and I headed towards the makeshift fuul stand/station some meters past Ka7lawi (or Afifi to those in the know), the kibda and sogo2 guy (sausages and garlic-chilli stir-fry liver).

The requisite loose crowd was gathered around the fuul stand and around the dining zones that flank it (meter square plywood boards on rusty barrel-tops). There seemed to be more clearing than eating going on, and one man was violently throwing cupfuls of water into what looked like the salad bucket. I noticed that the guy behind the counter was mashing up a seasoned batch of beans in the large transit bowl so I went and stood before him. He looked up and made a quick sun-rises-sun-sets swipe with his hand and said "7amdollah" (Praise be to God) and promptly returned to his seemingly strenuous task.

I asked him, "7amdollah 3ammatan, walla 7amdollah amshi?" (7amdollah in general, or 7amdollah thus I should leave?)

"3ammatan emshi," he said, without looking up (in general you should leave). I said "mashi" (fine) in the most dramatic victimized voice I could produce and walked back to Afifi's for undesired kibda.

Update: Post has been edited, based on Forsoothsayer's comment.


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