Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Old Times

I’ve been trying to keep up my Tangier lifestyle while spending my days dragging 30 lb groceries through the streets of Brooklyn because I can’t figure out the subway and when I do it is undergoing maintenance.

I visited Atlantic Ave. first chance I got, hoping to be swaddled by a warm blanket of Arab sights and sounds. There were more hipsters than hijabis and hardly anything halal. I managed to peek my head into a Yemeni restaurant full of only men, and was comforted by the awkward and misplaced-ness of my presence under the fluorescent lights. I will go there later with a notebook and it will be just like old times.

I found a few butchers that will come in handy for next month’s Ramadan, one Pakistani, one Lebanese, and one Egyptian. I decided to make it a competition of signage, and since the Pakistani had his price list titled “HALAL MEAT” all in that ghoulish font typically used only on Halloween (with the blood dripping down the letters), he definitely wins.

I tried to befriend the Lebanese Goods cashier in my old way, explaining that the name on my “SHIFA HONEY HEALING HONEY IT WILL AMAZE YOU” honey bottle, was in fact my own name! He ignored me. I guess it only works in Arabic. And not in America. I’m starting to feel that way about my personality in general.

At the end of the street is a perpendicular highway and beyond that highway is the river. I could see boats on it and as the sun set the whole street was orange. It made me want to buy school supplies. Instead I hung my head low and began the hour-long walk back home, when out of nowhere the Adan (call to prayer) started to blast from the loud speakers of Al-Farooq Mosque and out onto the streets of Cobble Hill for everyone to hear. I didn’t even think that was legal. But there it was. And all the shops closed, and re-opened fifteen minutes later. And I was late for prayer.


Ekrem Serdar said...
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