Friday, April 29, 2005
§°§ NARGUILA NIGHTS §°§
dawit and me enjoying the sisha (narguila), segma taking the pic
Despite the numerous years and opportunities of smoking shisha or narguila (nargile) in the Middle East, I found myself having my first puff in Geneva last night.
A meeting with some old classmates/friends turned into a dinner yesterday, not to mention an unexpected peep show. An Ethiopian friend of mine, Segma, invited for some drinks at the Café des Arts in Rue du Paquis, a quaint restaurant with an artsy-fartsy ambience. I don't know if actual artists go there. On one of my trips to the unisex toilet, a male occupant forgot to close the door. I opened it but I didn't see anything as he was facing the toilet and I was looking at his face. He thought I saw something so he said sorry while all red in the face. I wanted to laugh because I didn't see anything and perhaps, there was nothing to see.
Anyhow, we spent a few hours there. Segma introduced me to some of her other friends, who I met for the first time. One had to leave for another meeting, Dawit (Ethiopian for David) stayed. We hit it off and the three of us were dinner-bound at the "La Caravan Passe," (The Passing Caravan)a nearby restaurant.
Earlier in the café, a young man asked one of the customers where that resto was. The customer joked, "It already passed."
Going on...the Lebanese restaurant had a semi-authentic Arabic look to it. There were brass plates that served as tables and cloths with the usual Arabic design hanging from the ceiling to form part of what looks like an Arabic wedding tent.
The food was relatively cheap. I had my favorite felafel (fried ground chick peas with herbs, spices and baking soda) served with hommos (ground chick peas mixed with herbs and spices with a generous topping of olive oil) and khuboz (pita bread). We ordered different dishes so we could share.
We enjoyed authentic Lebanese tea which tasted great with the apple flavored narguile.
At least we didn't go home in the usual cigarette-smoke soaked night out.