Friday, May 21, 2010

Dinner with Hamdi's family

Today was Friday. Friday means Church, but today it also meant dinner with Tim's shopkeeper friend, Hamdi. Tim went to his house a few days ago to meet his children and his two wives (or so he thought). I was very interested to see Egyptian polygamy in action... but it turns out he only has one wife. And one teenage daughter that Tim thought was a second wife. And I did too, until we cleared that misconception up at the end of the visit (we didn't tell them we thought she was his wife... that would've made for awkward conversation). Speaking of conversation, it was pretty limited as they didn't speak any English and my Arabic is far from conversational. Tim spoke quite a bit though.

Some strange things that happened include the fact they made us put on their clothes when we arrived. We came straight from Church so we were in our Friday "best" (as could as it can be in Egypt), so we think they thought we dressed up for them and they wanted us to be comfortable. Amir was also having a rough time because he needed a nap, so I went back into the bedroom to help him go to sleep. I tried to nurse him but he was way too upset, but then Hamdi's wife came in and tried to force me to breastfeed him. And since I was wearing her clothes (which was like a long nightgown kind of thing), I couldn't really pull it down to nurse and so I had to pull it all the way up and I totally flashed my undergarments to her.

Overall, a fascinating cultural experience. I'm wanting to ask Hamdi's wife (I can't remember her name, sadly) to teach me how to cook her food, because it was amazing. I tried to mimic it last night and it tasted really similar, and was delicious. Pretty much, I sauteed peppers and onions, then added tomato paste, water, and a bouillon cube. We dipped our yummy and very cheap eish (bread) into it and ate it with Egyptian rice (a short-grain sticky rice). Cheap, healthy(ish), delicious. Yum.


  1. They made you wear their clothes. That's bizarre.

  2. How did you know which plate was yours, or did you all eat out of the same ones? And do they always eat on the floor?