by Ahmed Nagoor
July 17, 2003
Any one interested in culinary should visit the market place to just see the variety of food available there, starting from hawkers selling home made sweets and eateries in various shapes and colors from African, Syria, Misr and also Persian countries. An white colored Arabian sweet called "Halawa" is good to eat, but even though I generally like to eat sweets, I could not eat a full packet as it was so sweet too my comfort. As I walked round and round cutting through the by lanes of the market suddenly I found myself in a dead end with a open space in which elderly Arabs were sitting around and having their "Quawa" and smoking their traditional "Shesha", a jar like pot containing water through which charcoal heated tobacco smoke is inhaled through long winding hose. This is also called as "Mishal", which is a bigger one than the Shesha. The smoking hose is passed on to the next person in the circle and it goes on and on until the discussion is over or the tobacco is exhausted. Seeing me looking for a way to return, they invited me to join them, and even though I was interested to have a go at the smoking, I refused politely and returned back. Their next topic of their discussion, I imagined, would be about the tourist with a backpack and a camera in hand.
From journal Balad- The Soul of Jeddah