I woke up around 10:30 am after a semi-restless night – hoorah for jet lag, huh? George and I had eggs with zattar (a spice made of dried thyme, oregano, toasted sesame seeds, salt and cumin), shankleesh (a wonderfully strong cheese), pita bread, fresh cherries and Arabic coffee for breakfast. It was delicious and I was starving so I wolfed it all down pretty quickly.
Mariam’s mother came in a bit later and I sat out on the porch and talked to her while she smoked her Gauloises cigarettes – a habit she unashamedly admits hasn’t killed her yet and if it does, whatever, it makes her happy. She’s German so she speaks English with a slight accent, but she’s completely fluent and having been married to a Palestinian man for so many years, she speaks Arabic as well. Definitely an interesting character.
Problem is, while I was talking to her, I started to feel a little queasy. Finally, after about an hour and a half, I had to excuse myself and bolted down to my bathroom where stayed for over an hour….
Damn those cherries. They were so perfect, so juicy, and just bursting with flavor and I fell for it. What a moron.
After that uncomfortable episode, I felt a little better, took some pepto bismal and munched on pretzels for the rest of the afternoon. Lots of lying on the couch clutching my stomach. Eventually, the medicine or the pretzels or lack of fresh fruit in my stomach helped, and I started to feel a little better. Will be sticking to a bland diet for the next few days…
Around 4:30pm, I went downstairs to see Mariam (George’s wife) who had just gotten home from running errands in Amman all morning. We chatted and she introduced me to her ELEVEN cats. Having this many cats around, as much as I like cats, can be a little creepy. Most aren’t that friendly, but there are two brand new baby kittens and I am determined to train them to like snuggles before I leave.
The lazy day rolled by, and before I knew it George and I were eating grape leaves and kousa (stuffed zucchini) with yogurt for dinner. After our delicious feast, we headed upstairs to watch Al-Jazeera English, which included a piece that George and Mariam had made about a Lebanese cartoonist who recently made a clay-mation film about daily life in Beirut. I loved it! Snacked on tabouli (resisted cherries) while chatting with George and Mariam before heading down to my room for bed.