So much food so little time. It's a wonder not everyone here aren't hundreds of pounds heavier than they are. I suppose it's because the food is amazingly organic and everyone walks to venues...still, it's a bit extreme. So the real question is, how does a vegetarian survive here? Well, two things...first, it's actually quite easy seen how kosher restaurants cannot serve both dairy and meet in the same place, so either choose to go with milk products like cappuccino, ice-cream, cheese on anything, etc. or they can go with meat and no dairy. Secondly, I'm not a vegetarian. (What?!) I've never really been seen how I've always eaten fish, and my main reason for becoming meat-free in the first place was the disgusting way America's meat is laced with hormones and toxic chemicals, and that decision eventually led into the knowledge of the abuse and awful reality of slaughter houses in America. Thus, the solution? Ta-Da! Organic meat. No, not the kind that the FDA supposedly approves as 'organic' even though it could still be cloned or have eaten hormone-grown grains, but true organic sheep, goat and cattle that roam the fields. Also, my number one pet peeve in all my travels has been coming across rude Americans who just make us look bad. The complaining, the obnoxious behavior, the racial comments, the attitudes...bah. Who needs that? Knowing I was coming here to immerse myself in this culture, how could I remain true to my meat-free diet without offense? So, it's back to the lahme, (meat) in moderation, and of course when I return home, it's back to the meat-free lifestyle. It's been an exciting adventure. The food is amazing, the best ever. Everything is market-fresh and whatever is grown in season is what is available. Pita is the staple of course, and fruits and vegetables are abundant. We've been experiencing the Arab side of life while enjoying an amazing time getting to know Anis and even meeting his parents for an authentic Arab meal. This evening we went to Abugosh with Dr. and Dr. Bishara and they truly showed us what Arab hospitality is all about. It was never-ending plates of food, wine, and everything in between. Here is the list of what we ate, yes, you eat it all and yes, you feel like you're about to die when it's all over...ignore the spelling, this is for quantity and quality purposes.
Mezze, Tabouli, Ba'donsivi, Hummus, Tahini salad, Tahini, Turkish salad, red cabbage salad, eggplant with vegetables, white cabbage salad, Arab salad, Matboocha, falafel, cigars with meat, coogby with meat, stuffed peppers, two kinds of rice, grape leaves stuffed with rice meat, lamb kebabs, chicken kebabs, beef kebabs, baklava, bavarian cream, birds nest, and tea with nana (mint). This all served with fresh pita, on top of the things I can't remember the names of...you get the picture.
It's been a fantastic experience, and seen how our tour will be learning the Jewish side of life, with Anis, we can get a very balanced world-view without bias. I appreciate that beyond measure. So many details that make these cultures mesh well, and I mean very well. Forget the media, that's a bunch of mumbo-jumbo. These are real people, real souls, real lives. They have a right to our respect and appreciation for who they are as much as those crazy Americans deserve. Think about if countries still held the horrific Crusades against me as a Christian, how would that affect my daily life, my self-esteem, my devotion to my God? Not everyone is what they appear from the media, not everyone is an extremist. Even those who are deserve my love. That's what I've been asked to do, love everyone. Nothing more, nothing less. No distinctions.
Um, hello, this is considered ONE appetizer!?!?!