Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Monday Was Middle-East Muslim Day


At Costco yesterday while shopping I noticed from time to time a grandmotherly type lady with two teenage girls. I am guessing they are her granddaughters. The elderly lady had a scarf or veils on that made me think she was Muslim.

The two teenage girls stayed nearby as she shopped but they talked between themselves constantly. They didn’t pay much attention to their probable grandmother unless she asked them something.

As I were leaving I decided to stop and get buy a Coke from Costco's dispenser. I stood in line to pay for it at the counter. The two teenage girls fell in behind me in line. Their probably grandmother was sitting at a nearby table resting. Walking around shopping at Costco can be tiring.

One of the girls looked about 15 or 16 and the other one two years younger. They were talking about boys. They were using old U.S. of A. Southern-fried colloquialism. The youngest girl asked the oldest what did she think about some boy she named and the oldest said, “He sucks!”

I was thinking they were about the age, if they lived in their parents/grandparents mother country they might be considering wearing a suicide bomber’s backpack or jacket. Now, over here they can think about more important things, like boys – whether they suck or not, or who is and isn't a Hunk.

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Then, coincidentally we decided to have gyros for dinner. We went to a little Middle Eastern eatery that specializes in gyros and other “Mediterranean” foods, as their signs say.

A bumper sticker on a vehicle out front stated that “Allah Gives and Forgive and Man Takes and Forget”.

There were two men that ran the eatery. An elderly man and his apparent son. By the signs and their specials it was very obviously a Middle Eastern diner with a Muslin influence.

Not long after we ordered two young men arrived who looked they were probably computer-game intellectuals. They ordered something, they knew what to order they have been there before.

The old man waddled back to the back and the young man took care of them. All three of them got into a discussion about Muslim customs that I thought was interesting. The young man behind the counter was a talker.

He said in his homeland it is rude not to serve your guest Turkish strong coffee before they leave. He also pointed out to one of the men the way one of his feet was positioned, he would be telling his dining companion to “kiss his foot”. I looked down and saw the guy had the foot slightly turned up.

I wondered how do you tell someone to “kiss my ass.” Hice the butt up in the air, or just bend over and touch your toes – they’ll get the idea. Or on the other hand, they might get the idea that you are trying to communicate to them to "Kick My Ass!"

Both of these men who ran this eatery were very gentle and did not appear to be judgmental. The old man did not stick around out front so long, but the son, I think found WASPS interesting and like to discuss traditions in a non partisan way.

The gyros were good too.

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3 Comments:

Blogger kenju said...

An interesting foray into the customs of others! And food, too. What's not to like?

5:21 AM  
Blogger Eddie said...

Judy, You said, "What's not to like?" That sounds like a quote from someone directly from Europe. I can almost picture a man pushing a vender cart saying that.

5:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I taught aircraft systems to Algerians, Jordanians, Moroccans, Kuwaitis, Saudi Arabians, Sudanese and others I can't recall. You learned very quickly that showing the soul of the foot was insulting, just as holding the middle finger up to Americans would be.

Young Saudis,in one of the most conservative societies on earth, are beginning to meet via cellphones and are finding ways to skirt the repression. A young Saudi Woman I know rejected the first suitor, and found someone she liked on her own.

Strangely, the royal family in Saudi Arabia has been trying to bring society into the modern world, but must contend with the Saudi extremists who want society brought back to the 12th Century or so. One of the few places where a ruling Monarchy seems to be working to better the peoples lives, but has to go slowly to avoid being overthown.

Mike

2:37 PM  

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