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Friday, January 8, 2010

Chicken for Dinner

We spent a part of the afternoon looking for carpets.  We found two nice ones at reasonable prices in a large store where we were the only non-Egyptians.  We had brought along a friend with excellent negotiating skills to handle the transaction.  All negotiations were conducted in the manager's office under the watchful eye of President Hosni Mubarak.

I, of course, wanted to buy that rug.  Linda said, "no way."

After we got the two new rugs back to the apartment and rolled them out, we decided to go for a walk and buy some "take-away" as it's called here.  We headed up the street on the ten minute walk to the bakery area looking for chicken.  We found a good looking selection at this shop:
(Reminder: You can always click on a picture to enlarge it.)

So I asked for one "one chicken, take-away," in English.  That brought a "Speak Arabi?" question and my "schweia, schweia" meaning "little, little" was enough to bring big smiles.  We quickly went through all of the owner's English.  He brought out his #1 assistant to work on the chicken.  That man took it off the rotisserie and cut it up into smaller pieces to finish cooking on the charcoal grill.

The owner brought out two chairs for us and a plate of Mahshi.  Mahshi means "stuffed."  It might be stuffed grape leaves, stuffed peppers, stuffed eggplant etc. In this case it was all of the above.

Linda was called into action with her Arabic language skills.  In spite of the fact she can say in perfect Egyptian dialect Arabic, "speak slower, please!" no Egyptian does so.

Soon we had three men on the job.  A spicy eggplant dish was sampled and approved.  After the chicken was properly finished on the grill, they bagged it up along with ample quantities of the Mahshi and eggplant.  They tossed in a tasty tomato salad, some pita bread with Baba Ghanoush and Tahini too and we were headed back to the apartment.

It was a great dinner.

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