Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Sana’a Day 2 : Consolidate

I could not sleep well that first night, probably because of the Khat. The morning meditation session was great, just like last night. And then we proceeded for a great big breakfast. Having not eaten last night, this was quite fulfilling. And immediately started planning for lunch.

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We go with Mohammed to the local fish market. Navin shows his expertise and gets us two small and one big fish. The second step now is to cook the fish. There is a fish cooking place right next door to the market. We give our fish (along with about a 100 other people, dont know how they keep track of the various owners) for grilling and discovered the chutney makers outside on the street. They will take cilantro, tomato, onions and a piece of cheese, grate them together and produce this mixture that goes well with fish. It took about 45 mins for all the fishes to be delivered. In the meantime, we were offered a drink (some faux alcohol drink ) by the head griller, and had to drink it out of the his glass. Quite friendly, i must say ! I do believe that half the taste in the fish was because of the drops of sweat that this guy was liberally sprinkling on them while grilling.

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Now for the eating part .. We celebrated the last phase of the fish supply chain in another local joint (different from the cookhouse), where we ordered a big nan to go with the fish. A most satisfying meal. Accompanied by a 7-up. And we picked up some Khat for the afternoon session on the way back.

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This time we decided to chew in our own room. And we again walked out into the city, wandering along almost the same paths, with no fixed destination in mind. People would point to the bulges in our cheeks and give us the thumbs-up sign in a spirit of camaraderie.

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Though not as involving or engrossing as the first day, this too had it highlights. It was raining again when we started. We went into one of the museum/galleries, ostensibly to look for a place to pee, but it turned out to have quite a view of the city. I remember sitting at Bab-El-Yemen, one of the gates of the old city, and watching the street market unfold around us. The discussions that night were again quite extensive – some things I remember are “return of the generalists”, “being bold enough to say NO, or to NOT commit”, and of course some ruminations on sex, including “where did the taboos on sex originate from”.

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Next day is supposed to be the start of our road trip outside Sana’a, the Land Cruiser was waiting, and the driver. We slept kinda early that night.

Yes, I know, this post is a letdown from the last one. Two reasons : the day itself was not as remarkable, and I am not feeling as inspired to write about it. Happens to the best of us. Tomorrow may be better. Inshallah !

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