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Aid Mabrouk

I am blessed to be surrounded by the sweetest Tunisian families. Thursday evening began the festivities for Aid, or as I like to call it, Tunisian Thanksgiving. My understanding of Aid is that it’s meant to celebrate the joy that comes from following God’s word. Aid pays tribute to Abrahim’s near sacrifice of his son at God’s command. Thankfully for Ismael, just before the fatal slice, God intervened and said, ”Good blind follower! Sacrifice a sheep instead.” And he did. So now one ought to do likewise each and every Aid

Plus be with family, friends and food!!

So as I was saying, festivities began Thursday, the eve of Aid. Apparently you’re supposed to make contact with all those you haven’t connected with in a while. One of the phone calls I got was from an ex-model we work with at Sybel. He’s obsessed with bonzai trees and energy – the budding phases of Tunisia’s New Age movement I guess. Literally, everytime time he sends me a text or invites me to go somewhere, it’s in reference to some sort of energy sharing, energy taking or bonzai tree presence.

Anyhow, I actually spent most of Thursday evening locked up putting last touches on my apps. I am never applying to grad school again, totally the worst. Aside from that life ruiner, I chatted on the phone and played with my landlord’s sheep. I just find it so funny seeing a sheep tied up next to a modern house, I couldn’t help myself but play with it. And the kids of course.

Friday morning- no work! – I took advantage and cleaned my house. What does this involve? Dumping lots of hot, soapy water on the floor and then shoveling it all out the door with this giant car squeegee looking thing. Really glad I did a lot of ‘Topless Carwashes’ growing up, I’ve got a perfect stroke. I was actually pretty sick on Friday, so I cleaned, made a vegetable broth, and then slept for like 5 hours.

Good thing too, because when I woke up, it was eat-the-sheep-time. I entirely missed the halaal death, phew. So I spent the evening at my Landlord’s house. My mom had sent me an awesome package that I got right on American Thanksgiving so I dug through it and brought a box of Ghiradelli chocolate’s. Kind of regret it. They were super delicious. Anyhow, I love spending time in family environments and it was great to be surrounded by tons of friendly people. My landlord’s kids are kind of obsessed with me, and so as we gorged and chatted, they just kept running around and interrupting with their adorable french way of pronouncing my name. They’re voices are so squeaky! I love it.

Anyhow, I brought myself in for an early night so I could be rested for tomorrow’s road tripping to Kelibia. My boss invited me to her family farm for the weekend and it was such an awesomely authenic experience. We get out of the car and are greeted by chickens everywhere, rolling hills, trees and nature.

Undoubtedly a lot of cooking, eating and baby holding ( seriously though, my right bicep is still killing me). I also made fresh tabouna bread in this archaic oven, milked a cow, played with baby bunnies, rolled out some ‘Kak’ (delicious cookies filled with dates and rose water and a lot of patience), went to the sea side, and practiced yoga on the rooftop. Hager’s family was so warm, it was lovely just to sit in the morning over a mille-feuille and coffee with them.  Hager, of course, was a darling as usual. She always made sure I sat right next to her and then she would whisper things in my ear so I could keep up with the conversation. She would show me off to all her family members and tell them that I want to be a professor. Sometimes I feel like she’s my mom, at others, like she’s my sister, and then other like she’s my friend. Mom/sister/friend is a good combo so Ican’t complain.

One of my favorite moments though was a long walk through the country. I am so intrigued by Mediterranean foliage: deciduous besides coniferous besides cacti besides hibiscus flowers besides mountains besides the ocean. So many 2nd grade scientific contradictions! My guide, a five year old munchkin who didn’t leave my side all weekend long, took me all over Kelibia to the best places where I could just soak in the beauty. Really sucky that I didn’t bring my camera for this walk.

Sunday afternoon, it was time to go home. Many many bises took place and promises for coffee dates. Hager’s family made a basket for me with fresh olive oil, tabouna, oranges and lemons from their orchard and…Osben. Ewwwww!!

I could not bring myself to eat Osben. It’s stuffed sheep liver/stomach/kidneys/testicles. I don’t know exactly what it is but I can’t bring myself to eat detoxifying organs. Even if I’m totally off and Osben is a lung, the thought of it makes me want to barf.

Sunday I came home pretty exhausted. My landlord brought me a new bed and some flowers from the weekend so I slept in comfort, thanking my stars.

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Categories: Tunisian Life Tags: , ,
  1. inderjit gill
    December 3, 2009 at 2:12 am

    Preeti ji it is actually Id Mubara,but it is beautifully written professor sahib

  2. December 3, 2009 at 8:12 am

    daddy ji, im in tunisia. eid mubarak = aid mabrouk = id mubara.

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