ultimate fatty

Ohh, my god, I’m so homesick for the medina right now. The juice lady, with her niqab and henna-stained fingertips; she made the greatest strawberry smoothies you can dream of, and could never be entirely convinced that I wasn’t Daniel Radcliffe.

The avocado smoothies at the Syrian restaurant just outside the old city, where the staff remembered me because I visited so often. They once gave me a glass of water with a single melting ice cube in it - a gesture so kind that I was almost moved to tears.

The mint tea, syrupy-sweet, that never seemed to run out. The sugar cane drink stands on street corners, where they’d feed a slice of lemon and a stalk of sugarcane into a machine and serve you a beverage that looked like cloudy urine but tasted like the most delicate lemonade you can imagine.

The cats. The thousands upon thousands of cats.

The camel heads roasting along the street - questionable, fatty, but ultimately delicious. The servers who watched me eat, surprised to meet an American who actually wanted to try new things.

The rgheif for breakfast - msemen, some call it. A type of thin, layered pancake that tastes incredible topped with marmalade, cheese, Nutella, or jam.

The couscous on Fridays, served on a huge platter piled with meat and vegetables. Everyone eats from it with their hands, bouncing it in their palms until it forms a ball. Dry spots are moistened with broth.

The trains. Good luck finding a seat on a weekend if you’re traveling anything but first class - you will literally stand for four hours shoved up against a stinking bathroom and eight other people, if you’re lucky. If you’re not lucky, you hang out of the train door as it moved, clinging to the handrail for dear life. You make strange and sudden friendships in these situations, provided you brought candy to share.