I really wish I’d paid more attention on arrival here and taken down the name of the place, the street it was on, something, anything to remember it by! We had a lunch stop between sights on one of the final days of our amazing Egypt tour last year, and we were taken to this amazing rooftop location for lunch. Unfortunately there were details, like the name of the place, that I don’t remember. But there are other things that have vividly stayed with me.
1. The food itself. It. Was. INCREDIBLE!!! We were served up a veritable feast by our very hospitable hosts, plate after plate appearing in front of us. I remember the super soft flat bread, unlike any I’d ever had before. I remember the smooth, rich baba ganoush dip. I remember the incredible stew of vegetables and goodness knows what meat, flavours I’d never had before, and ones I wanted to eat over and over again.
2. I remember my group’s wonder and awe, I remember everyone’s faces as we fell suddenly silent, devouring everything, looking at each other, smiling appreciatively and whispering our excitement over how good it all was.
3. I remember the other group we met up with, from the same tour company. We had crossed paths and our two leaders had us lunch together. We sat at opposite ends of the long table. While our little group devoured our food and sang the praises of the unfamiliar cuisine, I vividly remember some of the girls in the other group scrunching their noses up and complaining that they couldn’t possibly eat more carbs and rice and bread – they’d have the salad, thanks. Decidedly unconcerned about our figures at that point, and wanting to throw ourselves head first into this unbelievable experience, we exchanged glances of disbelief across the table, silently asking each other “why on earth would you travel to Egypt of all places if you weren’t willing to try the food?!”
4. I remember being happy, really and truly happy. I had successfully thrown myself into a culture and country that was as different to the one I came from as possible. I was sitting there, on a rooftop, having made it through a sandstorm, and was thoroughly enjoying food I was very unfamiliar with. It was a really happy day.