Equal Partners
by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners

By Roland Ezri

"Women are the backbone of all societies. They do a substantial part of the work, and play a major role in raising the future generation yet they are largely powerless. The decisions that count are made by men and foisted upon women."

Writings by Roland Ezri

The Second Exodus – Egypt – CXVII. Alexandria – My Vacations (3 of 10)

We started at Ibrahimia and walked until we reached Manshiya (at the city center). We walked a lot, but our jaws worked even harder than our feet! All along the way we bought treats, and in reality never stopped eating.

There was, from one end of the corniche to the other end, a variety of street vendors that offered food items. We, of course, never ate everything that was available; that would have been impossible! The dora (corn) grilled on charcoal was a must. And ice cream was always on our menu.

Whenever we could, we talked aunt Rachel into coming with us; if we succeeded, she took us to El Chami. Since she paid, we sat down and ordered a cup of ice cream. I can’t find the words in the English language to describe this ice cream; El Chami (which simply means The Syrian) used only the best and freshest ingredients, if you ordered, say, frawla (strawberry), that’s what you got; he also added pieces of fresh fruits and nuts. Aunt Rachel once ordered milk (cream and milk) and gave us to taste, we went bananas over it, for it included mastic, it had a divine taste and stretched when you bit into it. Some other flavors, such as chocolate and pistachios, also had mastic, but you paid extra for that.

Other merchants: Soudani (peanuts) were roasted right there and served hot in a paper cone.

Tin beshokou (cactus pears) were peeled and the luscious fruit quickly consumed; you could eat 5 or 6 without even realizing it; Fola loved it.

Termes (lupin beans in brine) were bought and eaten as we walked.

Colorea was sometimes purchased if we got really hungry(!). Colorea is a round confection of dough with sesame on it; the merchant gave you a packet of salt mixed with spices to dip your colorea in it. If you could afford it, he also sold wrapped pieces of cheeses or even hard boiled eggs. In addition, that individual sold rosquettes; again, it is a round baked item and it differed from the colorea in that it was smaller and harder. The call of that vendor was: Semit, ka’hk, we beid; semit means colorea which is really a Greek word, ka’hk means rosquettes, a French word, finally, beid means eggs. That same merchant sometimes sold shtangel, a delicious long salty and sweet treat; I believe that shtangel is of German origin, and the man actually used the term shtangel.

I’ll mention one last item (but by no stretch of the imagination have I covered all available victuals), leb (roasted seeds) such as pumpkins and sunflowers were purchased hot and continually cracked and eaten as we walked; that of course was possible only when our jaws were not otherwise busy munching on something else!

You would think that after a day at the beach, and a long walk on the corniche, we would fall into bed. Not so. The moment we went to bed, Michel, Robert, and myself talked our heads off. “Silence les enfants.” (Be quiet children). “Ca suffit les enfants.” (Enough children). These adults admonishments only brought tittering and a moment of silence; thereafter conversations resumed as if nothing happened. Only when the sandman wended his way to our bed did we finally shut our little mouths!

Comments are closed.